Who is Ciomara Garcia? Handcuffed woman punched by cop in face rescued after fellow officers restrain him
Police said cops arrived at the scene after a complaint was made that a woman, identified as Ciomara Garcia, had assaulted another woman who was trying to rescue a dog running in the street. Garcia was 'not compliant' and 'combative' with the cops
WESTMINSTER, CALIFORNIA: Two police officers restrained one of their colleagues after the latter reportedly kept repeatedly punching a handcuffed woman. TMZ reported that the unidentified cop from the Westminster Police Department has been placed on administrative leave as a probe into the matter has been launched.
The video of the incident, which was taken by a bystander, has gone viral on social media. It reportedly happened on Wednesday, April 21, at about four in the evening when police responded to a call of an alleged assault and battery in the 14100 block of Locust Street. A press release from the police said cops arrived at the scene after a complaint was made that a woman, identified as Ciomara Garcia, had assaulted another woman who was trying to rescue a dog running in the street.
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According to reports, Garcia, 34, had an outstanding felony bench warrant on suspicion of vandalism. When cops tried to arrest her, she reportedly showed signs of being under the influence, police stated in the media release, who added that while waiting for paramedic assistance for Garcia, she was “not compliant” and “combative” with the cops. The release added that to control the suspect, one of the officers had to hit her twice in the face with his fist.
The statement said that a WPD Officer “used force and struck [the woman] two times in the face with his first [sic]. Two WPD Officers immediately intervened and deescalated the situation.” Garcia was later taken to a hospital, where she was found safe and sound, and was booked into Orange County Jail on the warrant. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will now reportedly evaluate if charges, including assault and battery, being under the influence of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and assault on a police officer, should be filed against her. “The Westminster Police Department is well aware of portions of the video circulating on social media. The Westminster Police Department considers this a serious event and will ensure that this investigation will be guided by the law and the truth,” police said.
Meanwhile, Garcia's brother Adolfo Rosales told Eyewitness News that his sister has a mental illness. “They already know she has schizophrenia and she's bipolar, or at least one of the cops did. When we opened the door, they're trying to put handcuffs on her, and she was resisting. They're walking her out, and when we got out of the walkway, that's when she started kicking their shins. That's when they threw her into the plants,” Rosales said. The footage obtained from a doorbell camera showed cops lifting Garcia out of the flower bed and walking her toward the street. After that, she was punched by the officer, which was captured by a witness.
When the video was shared by a local neighborhood account on Instagram, named ochoods, several people expressed their views in the comment section of it. One user wrote, “Props to the other cops that did the right thing and acted professional.. That other cop probably got picked on in high school and is now acting like a prick because he has a badge.” Another one said, “It's still ACAB & FTP every day but shout out to those cops for checking one of their own. You hardly see accountability now a days. Thank God for his buddies stopping him from further hitting this lady.”