On Saturday around 5:30 p.m. NYPD officers where enforcing social-distancing rules by breaking a group of people near the corner of East Ninth Street and Avenue D. According to police, Shakiem Brunsom and Ashley Serrano allegedly refused to move along and resisted cops efforts to cuff them.
While the police attempted to arrest Brunsom and Serrano, a small crowd of onlookers gathered to watch and record the encounter. Officer Francisco Garcia can be seen on one of the onlooker’s cell phone video yelling at the crowd to, “Move the f- -k back right now!”
Garcia then holsters his Taser — only to grab one onlooker from the crowd, identified by cops as Donni Wright.
Garcia wrestles the 33-year-old to the sidewalk, repeatedly slapping his head and punching him, as another cop moves in to help cuff him, the video shows.
The NYPD said that Garcia felt threatened when Wright struck a fighting stance — a move not caught in the clip — and that the cop suffered an unspecified injury in the brawl.
Wright was hit with charges including assault of a police officer, menacing and resisting arrest.
Brunsom, 31, and Serrano, 22, also face resisting arrest raps, with the former also charged with pot possession and the latter hit with criminal possession of a weapon charges for a stun gun she was allegedly carrying.
“It started out as a social distancing enforcement,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a joint Sunday press briefing with Mayor de Blasio. “I am aware of the video that’s out there.”
Garcia, meanwhile, has been placed on modified duty, pending a probe by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, noted the top cop.