YUBA CITY (KRON) — A Yuba City police officer was recorded on camera punching a suspect.
Some witnesses say they saw the suspect hit the officer first on Bridge Street.
Police were called out to respond to some kind of disturbance in front of Taco Bell. It’s been posted to Snapchat and Facebook where the comments have been fast and furious.
Many slammed the officer for what looks like the punching of a man who was calmly submitting to being arrested.
Julio Mojica proudly serves his Big Dawg fries and burgers to officers who make big orders every weekend while they work in town.
When KTXL showed him the video clip, he had much the same reaction as many have online.
“That’s definitely not a good way to represent your police department and your city,” Mojica said.
The clip circulating on social media doesn’t tell the whole story.
That is according to a woman who says she watched the entire encounter from inside Taco Bell.
She didn’t want to reveal her name or face.
“The guy laid the biggest punch on this poor cop,” she said. “Came out of nowhere and then there was a scuffle. So, the cop did what anybody would do.”
“We review all uses of force no matter how minor or serous they are,” Yuba City police Lt. Jim Runyen said. “We take those matters seriously.”
Yuba City police aren’t releasing many details about what led up to the punch and resulting arrest of 58-year-old Ronald Ybarra for resisting and a probation violation.
Citing this as a personnel issue, they also won’t provide any history on the officer involved in a situation now under internal investigation aside from saying he’s still on the best per department policy.
“There’s use of forces frequently, so all those are reviewed, and if we find a violation of policy, then we take a different action toward that,” Runyen said.
As he sits in jail, Ybarra’s wife told KTXL by phone that when he was hit, he was trying to pull out his wallet and phone to show the officer that he’d called 911 for help in that initial disturbance at Taco Bell.
The Ybarras say Ronald stopped to confront a man identified to them by their bank as the thief who illegally cashed a credit-card based check against their account for $5,000.
For one witness, nothing excuses what she saw out of Ybarra.
“I think the guy in question is even more guilty because he went looking for it,” she said. “He was already angry. He was already aggressive.”
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