Nancy Carroll says her grandson Tyree "was treated like a dog" when he was arrested in April. The family says he was stopped for riding his bicycle the wrong way down a one-way street, but according to a statement issued Thursday afternoon by Philadelphia police, Carroll was stopped on a "narcotics violation."
In video captured by a witness and uploaded to YouTube Wednesday by Los Angeles blogger Jasmyne Cannick, several officers appear to punch and kick Carroll repeatedly as he screams for his grandmother.
Carroll family spokeswoman Margaret Prescod told 48 Hours' Crimesider that Carroll told her he bit one of the officers during the arrest. The family says that Carroll is asthmatic and said that police had him in a chokehold and were pressing on his chest, making it difficult to breathe.
"He was thinking about Eric Garner," said Prescod. "He was terrified he was going to die."
Eric Garner was the asthmatic New York City man who died after being arrested on Staten Island last year.
Philadelphia police say they have opened an investigation into the incident and that "strikes and control holds" were employed during the arrest, but not a Taser, despite one officer saying "here comes the Taser."
According to police, Carroll began to fight as police tried to arrest him and bit two officers who had to be treated for "bleeding bite wounds." Police also say that Carroll was "transported to the hospital after intentionally striking his own head against the protective shield located in the police vehicle."
According to family spokeswoman Margaret Prescod, Carroll has been charged with simple and aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and a drug charge. Police say that Carroll had 5.3 grams of crack cocaine on him at the time of his arrest.
Carroll's family says he has a swollen ankle and leg and back pain stemming from the arrest. He told them that he was taken to the hospital that night but that medical personnel didn't tend to his injuries, they only looked at his pupils and checked his heart rate.
Nancy Carroll says that she is concerned for her grandson's health behind bars.
"There's no air conditioning in there," she said. "I'm worried about him being able to breathe."
Carroll has been in jail since the incident and is scheduled for a hearing on July 21. His family says they only recently learned that a witness had recorded the arrest and are pleased it's gone public.