Of­fi­cer shown strik­ing man

Video cap­tures part of a con­fronta­tion in a park­ing lot of a Yuba City Taco Bell.

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - By Veron­ica Rocha veron­ica.rocha @la­times.com

Au­thor­i­ties are re­view­ing video that shows a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia po­lice of­fi­cer punch­ing a man in the face dur­ing a strug­gle out­side a fast-food res­tau­rant this week.

The 10-sec­ond video posted on Face­book shows a Yuba City po­lice of­fi­cer in a con­fronta­tion with a burly Ron­ald Ybarra, who ap­pears to be ei­ther reach­ing to­ward his pants pocket or hold­ing some­thing be­hind his back.

The uniden­ti­fied of­fi­cer slugs Ybarra twice on the left side of his head, send­ing Ybarra’s sun­glasses fly­ing.

In the video, a man could be heard say­ing, “He’s got his gun, dude.”

Af­ter throw­ing the sec­ond punch, the of­fi­cer takes Ybarra to the ground and mounts his back. Sev­eral dark ob­jects can be seen land­ing on the sur­face of the park­ing lot. It’s un­clear whether they were be­ing held by Ybarra or fell from the of­fi­cer’s util­ity belt.

The video ends as abruptly as it be­gan.

“I don’t know what hap­pened,” Ybarra told The Times on Thurs­day. “It all hap­pened so quickly that I am still in shock.”

The take­down oc­curred Mon­day when the of­fi­cer re­sponded to a re­port of a dis­tur­bance at a Taco Bell in Yuba City, about 42 miles north of Sacra­mento, Po­lice Lt. Jim Run­yen said.

Po­lice re­leased few de­tails about the in­ci­dent, say­ing only that Ybarra was one of those in­volved in the dis­tur­bance.

Ybarra said he went to the res­tau­rant to con­front a man who he al­leged had stolen a $5,000 check. Dur­ing the con­fronta­tion, Ybarra said, he called 911 for as­sis­tance.

Ybarra said he doesn’t know why the of­fi­cer punched him or how it es­ca­lated. He said he only remembered be­ing slammed to the hot ground, then be­ing loaded into the back of a pa­trol car.

How­ever, a woman who claims to have wit­nessed the episode told FOX 40-TV that the cop had been hit.

“The guy laid the big­gest punch on this poor cop — came out of nowhere, and then there was a scuff le,” she told the sta­tion. “So the cop did what any­body would do.” The woman de­clined to give her name.

Ybarra was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of re­sist­ing ar­rest and vi­o­lat­ing pro­ba­tion, au­thor­i­ties said. He is on pro­ba­tion for a 2016 mis­de­meanor con­vic­tion for as­sault by means likely to pro­duce great bod­ily in­jury, ac­cord­ing to Sut­ter County Su­pe­rior Court records.

Af­ter nearly three days in cus­tody, Ybarra was re­leased Wed­nes­day.

The Sut­ter County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice said that no charges have been filed against Ybarra and that pros­e­cu­tors were still re­view­ing the case.

The Po­lice De­part­ment is also look­ing at body and dash­board cam­era footage of Mon­day’s ar­rest, Run­yen said. “We take use-of-force in­ci­dents se­ri­ously and look at each in­ci­dent,” he added.

As for Ybarra, he said he wants to see ac­tion taken against the of­fi­cer.

Ybarra said the take­down left him with a sore jaw. “It was not good. It was not fun,” he said. “I don’t know what I am go­ing to do.”

‘We take use-of-force in­ci­dents se­ri­ously and look at each in­ci­dent.’ — Lt. Jim Run­yen, Yuba City Po­lice De­part­ment

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