Sparks flew from batons as they swung down on Alejandro Rojo’s skull and onto the pavement over and over.
The 22-year-old man is lucky to be alive.
And it was all caught on camera.
A woman identified only as “Sandra” recorded the California cop Tuesday night repeatedly beating a man in the head with his baton after responding to a call at a CVS pharmacy about a man acting strange, rummaging through medical supply boxes, “possibly ingesting medicine.”
Murietta police say Rojo was creating a disturbance and appeared under the influence of drugs, according to the responding officer.
Rojo’s family, however, says they don’t believe their son was on drugs. They believe he was having a medical episode inside of the pharmacy.
Department officials allege Rojo went for the officer’s gun and resisted arrest.
But surveillance footage from inside CVS, released by the department, shows the cop attack Rojo as he leaves the cash register as he attempts to exit the store.
It then shows the cop attempting to place Rojo in a chokehold while Rojo tries to keep from being choked.
That’s when Rojo slipped away and wound up on the pavement outside of the pharmacy with the responding officer beating him in head with his baton as backup arrived to join in the beating.
Murietta police’ claim that when an officer “tried to contact Rojo, the suspect went for the officer’s gun” is not evident in the video footage.
It shows Rojo trying to physically disengage from the cop as he attacks without warning.
“He got tasered and then there was another officer kicking him in the groin area as well,” said Sandra.
“It was excessive force,” she told NBCLA. “And it was not necessary. It was uncalled for.”
In the video, which is about three minutes long, officers can be heard yelling for the man to stop resisting.
At one point, an officer kicks Rojo in the face and he attempts to put his hands up.
Sparks can be seen flying off the asphalt as batons whiz by his head, grazing his skull and scraping the ground.
Rojo’s father, Arturo Rojo saw the video and told NBCLA,”Look at this. I mean, I cannot believe how they went crazy with him. You know they are going too far; they are going too far. Cops are going to far. You know, I thought I respected cops.But look at this right here. This is not right. Why did they do that?”
“He’s not a bad kid. I did not raise my kid to be like that. It hurts me. What did they want to do? What did they want to try to do?”
Despite the fact the video shows a Murietta cop attacking Rojo, they charged him with resisting a police officer causing injury, obstructing a police officer causing injury, suspicion of trying to disarm a police officer,retail property trespassing and battery on a police officer causing injury.
Murrieta police said he was also to be booked on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs pending lab results.
The initial responding cop seen inside of CVS suffered a broken hand, but it’s not clear if the fracture was caused by his own force.
In 2014, the small California town made national headlines as its residents shouted things like “Go home!’ and “We don’t want you!” Amid a storm of national news coverage as impoverished South American women and children sought refuge in the United States.