Merced, California police officers viciously assaulted a man after a convenience store clerk claimed he had a gun, but the victim denies having a gun, police did not report finding a gun on him, and he is not charged with any gun related crimes in the incident.
William Colbert, 39, stopped at the ampm market last month to buy an iced tea on his way home when he had a disagreement with the clerk over the payment, reported The Merced Sun-Star.
Colbert, a pipe-fitter and welder, ended up asking the employee to refund the purchase to his credit card.
After a few minutes of arguing, the clerk decided to call police and report that Colbert had a gun, but Colbert says the clerk lied about that.
When police arrived, Colbert was standing outside waiting because the clerk locked him out.
The first officer to arrive, Joseph Opinski – who Colbert recognized as a college classmate, went inside the store to speak with the clerk.
Colbert identified the next officer to arrive as William McComb. He chose to charge at Colbert “like a bat out of hell” and took him into custody.
Colbert, who says he committed no crime, asked why he was being arrested. That is when 2 more officers “bum rushed” him and pushed his face into a puddle.
As he feared for his life from the police that were needlessly abusing him, he did not want to resist, but he also needed to lift his head out of the dirty water so he could breathe.
Police put him in the back of a patrol car, and the frustrated Colbert says he kicked the cruiser’s door before asking for the overly-tight handcuffs to be loosened. Officers then decided to take him out and press their knees into his back.
“There should be no reason I come out of that cop car,” Colbert said.
He asked for medical attention, and McComb suggested he knew Opinski because he was a “snitch bitch gang member” — which Colbert said made him “irate.”
McComb stayed in the hospital room throughout Colbert’s examination. He admits to calling police “cowards” and one officer a “b*tch” because he was frustrated about being needlessly attacked and arrested.
He was then taken to the Merced County Jail.
Colbert said officers there were “aggressively” shoving him during processing, and one officer stumbled as he stepped when the officer tried to push him. Colbert said he went to the ground to avoid more aggression, but that is when police really unloaded on the man.
Police then began kicking and punching him from behind, and an officer raked his arm with handcuffs, Colbert said. He was then sent back to the hospital for more treatment.
Colbert’s mugshot shows his face bloody and bruised, with one eye swollen.
“This is the s— people talk about on the news that I think will never happen to me,” Colbert said. “I’m thankful to be alive.”
He has been charged with resisting arrest, threatening an officer and battery on an officer.
Merced police are conducting an internal investigation, but they would not comment or release any video of the incident.