Man sues Mesa police, accuses officers of excessive force during his arrest

Posted at 10:29 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 09:01:59-04

A Valley man is suing the Mesa Police Department, accusing officers of using excessive force during an arrest in October 2017. 

Thirty-two-year-old Christian Ivan Topete and his attorney, Nathaniel Preston, filed the civil suit on Tuesday, accusing Mesa Police of numerous constitutional violations. 

"They go from zero to sixty, and they become violent, right in a second," explains Preston. 

Back on October 12, 2017, Mesa Police were called to Topete's apartment near Broadway and Gilbert roads after a neighbor reportedly saw Topete strike his ex-girlfriend across the face, and then pull her into his apartment -- all according to court paperwork. 

But these are claims Preston denies. 

From there, officers enter Topete's unit while he is seated on the couch. Preston claims his client repeatedly asks what he did wrong, and instead, is met with excessive force. 

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"I think it's disgusting. I think as human beings, we should be better. Every human should be better in these circumstances," Preston said.

But in newly released police body camera video, you can hear officers describe how Topete is resisting, even swinging at officers, claims that Topete also denies in other portions of the body camera video. 

At one point, you hear an officer describing his version of events. 

"He actually brought his leg up over my arm," says one officer. 

All of this as Preston says Topete is left in a pool of his own blood and urine. 

"He urinates himself. They let him lie in his blood. And his urine. It's just a despicable event," Preston said.

Mesa Police declined our request for an interview, but did tell us this incident is now under investigation, adding, "In the course of the incident, officers made contact with Christian Topete; while attempting to detain him, use of force encounter occurred." 

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Topete is facing some charges, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. Preston is hoping these charges will be dropped and is also seeking financial damages for his client.