New York City – Deputy Inspector Terence O’Toole, commanding officer of the 50th precinct, responded to a press inquiry about a now-viral video by saying that it was police work in action.
“You saw police work in action,” Deputy Inspector O’Toold said, according to Anthony Capote with Riverdale Press.
“There’s video of him taking the bike, then the store owner comes out to confront him and waves down the police officers.” O’Toole told Capote. “As soon as the officers tell him, ‘You’re under arrest,’ he pushed the officer down and puts his hand over his throat.”
“People fail to realize that police are allowed to use physical force,” O’Toole added. “It looks awful, but it’s lawful. If you are placed under arrest then you comply.”
The incident happened on Friday at around 9 AM when Alfred Burns tried to steal a bicycle from the front of a store at 225th Street and Broadway, according to NY Post.
The bike’s owner saw the thief and flagged down nearby NYPD officers.
The officers approached Burns, 16, and he attacked them. During the fight, the suspect pushed one of the officers to the ground, got on top of him, and put his hand on the officer’s neck.
Then an officer with arms the size of tree trunks got on top of Burns and started hitting him while a third officer yelled for him to stop resisting.
Burns continued to resist throughout the ordeal, and it took all of the officers to pry Burns loose from the down officer.
“No, what are you doing? What did you do?” a bystander screamed at the officers.
During the fight, bystanders even tried to interfere, grabbing and pushing the officers.
Burns was arrested and charged with assault, petit larceny, resisting arrest, criminal possession of stolen property, and giving a fake name. He was transported to the hospital and released.
Three officers were injured during the arrest.
The Post also reports that Burns was wanted for an armed robbery from July 31 when the teen held a cab driver at knife-point and stole his money, cell phone, and tablet.
A few days prior to that, he attempted to rob another person but the victim wouldn’t cooperate so he took off running.
“He’s a scourge on the Bronx as it is at 16 years old,” O’Toole told Riverdale Press.. “This guy has his hands around an officer’s neck. Last time I checked, that is pretty dangerous. And he admits he stole the bike.”
“He is going to fight with police for the rest of his life, guaranteed. And the next cop that he encounters may have to shoot him because he is going to fail to comply. Because that is going to be his lifestyle forever.”
O’Toole said that officers are actively searching for the people who attempted to interfere in the arrest.
“Those people are subject to arrest if we can find them. The voice that is screaming the most is his girlfriend, who showed up here and she may be getting arrested, too,” O’Toole said.
Burns’ girlfriend could be charged with inciting a riot, and others face potential charges of interfering with an arrest.
You can see the video of the incident below: