NEW JERSEY (FOX 5 NEWS) - Some Jersey City police officers are accused of beating an innocent man after a police chase. The whole thing was caught on camera after the pursuit ended in a fiery crash.
It all started late Sunday night with a 6-mile car chase, shots fired by police, and a crash. Police officers took controversial action. But it turns out a man on fire was not the suspect.
Erik Roberto was in his car boxed in by arriving police near Tonnelle Avenue when he saw a car in flames and a man on the ground. Roberto captured what happened on video. Roberto told Fox 5 that instead of putting out the fire, the police officers pulled their guns and looked like they were kicking a man on the ground. Roberto said he is haunted by what he witnessed.
In the video he took with his phone, you see the officers dragging the 28-year-old car crash victim over a curb and into a street. The officers had been chasing another car with a suspect who was later arrested.
The video is troubling to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who said he has serious concerns about what happened and promised aggressive disciplinary action and charges, where appropriate.
But the video may be misleading, according to the president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association.
"Taking swift action isn't always elegant, but this video clearly shows that the officers acted quickly to extinguish the flames, and pull this man out of harm's way," said Carmine Disbrow, the union's president.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement that the office is investigating the "actions of all individuals who were involved."
"Our investigators have reviewed the video and we believe with certainty that this man is the bystander from West New York who suffered burns, not Leo Pinkston, the individual pursued by police," Suarez said. "As I previously said, we will utilize all resources available to the Prosecutor's Office for a full and thorough investigation as we seek to bring this matter to a rightful conclusion."