RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Cell phone video captured the controversial arrest of a 15-year-old boy on a bicycle in Bergen County.
The video shows a Ridgewood police officer pulling one handle of a teen's bike Sunday afternoon, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported. A second officer comes over and grabs the boy by his shoulders.
The officer wrestles the boy, pulling him to the ground, before the cops put him in handcuffs.
"They went to his neck and then they forced him down and it kept getting worse and worse every second," said Teddy Khammanyvong, who said he witnessed the incident.
Khammanyvong said the officers were trailing a group of kids on bicycles along East Ridgewood Avenue around 4 p.m. He said he heard the kids taunting the officers, but that police escalated the situation, which left the teen visibly limping.
"He didn't even touch the cop or anything, so there was no need to do that," said Khammanyvong.
At the time, the road was closed to traffic, with tents and tables set up for pedestrians.
The Ridgewood Police Department denied CBS2's request for an interview, but said in a statement the officers were trying to stop the kids, in order to speak to them about bike safety.
A police spokesman went on to say the 15-year-old "disregarded the safety of others and began to pass the officer," who then warned the kid he would get a summons.
Police said the teen tried to flee, so officers, "attempted to take custody of the bicyclist and the bicyclist continued to actively resist the officers."
"It's a 15-year-old kid biking. There is no justification for the use of force that was used against him," said Emily Rizzo, from Ridgewood for Black Liberation, an organization demanding an investigation and consequences for the officers involved.
"They've shown an absolute abuse of power," said Rizzo.
The teen was issued four summonses for motor vehicle violations.
The police chief said the two officers have been put on desk duty while the incident is investigated by the department's internal affairs unit.
for more features.