The city of Keller has agreed to pay $200,000 to a man who was pepper-sprayed and arrested after he videotaped a police officer who pulled over his son for making a wide right turn, according to the father’s attorney.
Marco Puente filed a lawsuit in federal court in Fort Worth last month against two Keller police officers alleging excessive force and illegal ɑггᴇѕт in the Aug. 15 incident.
According to the officers’ body camera footage, Marco Puente’s son Dillon was pulled over by Sgt. Blake Shimanek for making a wide right turn.
Dillon Puente’s father soon appeared at the scene in a separate vehicle and started to videotape what was going on from across the street.
That’s when Shimanek ordered another officer, Ankit Tomer, to ɑггᴇѕт the father and pepper spray him. Tomer was also named in the lawsuit.
In the footage, Shimanek can be heard asking Dillon Puente: “Any reason why you rolled your window up when I walked up?”
The officer then asks Dillon Puente to get out of the car, demands he does not shut the window and places him in handcuffs. “Why you acting so suspicious?” Shimanek asks.
At this point, father Marco Puente can be seen pulling up in a vehicle on the opposite side of the road. “He got mad because I rolled up my window,” Dillon Puente tells him.
As the 22-year-old continues to attempt to explain why he has been ɑггᴇѕтᴇԀ, Shimanek directs attention towards Marco Puente, telling him: “You’re about to be ɑггᴇѕтᴇԀ for blocking the roadway if you don’t park and get out …. You are interfering with my job.”
Marco Puente then drives away, as requested, before returning to record his son’s ɑггᴇѕт on his cell from the sidewalk across the street.
“Better yet,” Shimanek says, “arrest him.”
When Puente asks what he is being ɑггᴇѕтᴇԀ for, Shimanek replies: “For blocking the roadway.”
The footage shows officer Tomer walk over to the elder Puente, grab his arm and place him in һɑпԀᴄᴜffs as Puente continues to ask for a reason for the ɑггᴇѕт .
Shimanek then leaves the younger Puente in һɑпԀᴄᴜffs on the side of the road and walks across the street toward the two men.
The elder Puente is then pushed to the ground, his cell falls from his hand, and he is cuffed. “Dude, oh my god, what are you doing?” he can be heard asking.
Shimanek directs Tomer to pepper spray the Puente, which Tomer does—inches from the man’s face. Puente responds, saying: “That was totally unnecessary.”
Over the next 15 minutes, Puente begs repeatedly for someone to give him a towel or help him wipe his face, but his request goes ignored.
Both the father and son were taken to jail but police supervisors quickly dropped the charges after they reviewed the case and Shimanek was demoted to officer.
A federal lawsuit filed ɑɡɑɪпѕт the two officers in Fort Worth District Court on December 15, and seen by local TV station WFAA, claimed that Keller Police Department leadership had later called the use of force and arrest of Marco Puente “inappropriate.”
An official complaint lodged with the department also notes the officers “used force to place Mr Puente under ɑггᴇѕт .”
The complaint continues to allege Shimanek ᴠɪᴏʟɑтᴇԀ “General Orders Code of Ethics and Conduct Towards ɑггᴇѕтᴇԀPersons” as well as “General Orders Role and Authority.”