Texas Man, 76, Tasered During Traffic Stop

He was stopped for driving with expired inspection sticker
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2014 2:24 AM CST

A police officer in Victoria, Texas, is being investigated over a routine traffic stop where he slammed a 76-year-old man onto his cruiser then Tasered him twice when he was on the ground. Dashboard camera video shows Pete Vasquez being pulled over on the way to the auto dealership where he works as a mechanic by 23-year-old officer Nathaniel Robinson, the Guardian reports. Vasquez, who was stopped for driving with an expired inspection sticker, points to the dealer tags that made the vehicle exempt but is arrested by the officer after he pulls away when Robinson grabs his arm. The officer can be seen holding the Taser and shouting, "Put your hands behind your back" after Vasquez falls out of sight. "He just acted like a pit bull, and that was it," Vasquez tells the Victoria Advocate, which notes Vasquez was arrested for the expired sticker but was ultimately released from the hospital without a citation.

"For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me." Robinson, who has been with the force since 2012, has been placed on administrative duty, and the local police chief says he is investigating the incident. A co-worker who witnessed the arrest describes Vasquez as a "nice, sweet, gentle man" and says he thinks the officer should lose his job. "I told the officer, 'What in the hell are you doing?' This gentleman is 76 years old," the co-worker says. "The cop told me to stand back, but I didn't shut up. I told him he was a godd---ed Nazi stormtrooper." The Advocate reports that the dealer tags did indeed make the vehicle exempt; had they not, such an offense is considered a Class C misdemeanor, and typically does not involve arrest. (More Texas stories.)

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