HALLANDALE BEACH (CBSMiami) – The city of Hallandale Beach is facing tons of questions after cell phone video surfaced on social media showing two officers beating a man accused of stealing a cell phone.
Curse words are flying on the cell phone video posted on social media which shows two Hallandale Beach Police officers beating the man with a baton and also using a taser Wednesday afternoon.
According to the police report, the man had stolen a cell phone from a vehicle and when officers tried to arrest him off I-95 and Hallandale Beach Blvd, he became combative. “Yo! He didn’t do anything. Stop (expletive) hitting him,” said the man taking the cell phone video as he confronted the officers.
The man who took the video posted it on Twitter calling it “police brutality in broad daylight.” He said “police heavily beat this man up busted his head open lead him to bleed heavily. The man is known around the area to be a mentally challenged individual.”
The man on the ground has been identified as 27-year-old Daniel Dunkelberger. He was transported to the hospital and then taken to jail.
Hallandale Beach Police held a news conference Thursday afternoon to address the confrontation.
“Of course the video is of concern,” said Hallandale Beach City Manager Roger Carlton. “There are processes that have to unfold here, one of which is an internal affairs investigation which has already begun. Both officers are on administrative leave.”
The man whose cell phone was stolen and called police said he saw the incident from beginning to end and there’s a lot that happened before this cell phone video was taken. He spoke with us on the phone and says he sees nothing wrong with the officers’ actions.
“He’s trying to run away. He kept telling the officers, ‘No I’m not going to sit down or put my hands behind my back,’ and he pushed the older officer and that’s when the other officer tackled him and tried to put him under arrest and put his arms behind his back,” said Nicholas Garcia who called police when he says he saw Dunkelberger taking Garcia’s cell phone from Garcia’s car.
The two officers have been identified as Jaime Cerna, an 11 year veteran, and Richard Allen who was with the department for more than 30 years, retired and came back to work on an hourly basis to fill in as needed. The city says the investigation will be open and by the books.
“We want to ask anybody else in the community who has information about this to let us know, if there’s additional video to please let us have it because that will be helpful in bringing this situation to a proper conclusion,” said Carlton.
Dunkelberger is charged with burglary and resisting arrest.