Fort Worth police examine use of force during arrest

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 5 at 12:41 PM

FORT WORTH — The Fort Worth Police Department is investigating a recording that shows officers throwing punches outside a Beach Street club last weekend.

While the recording doesn't show what led up to the incident, police are pointing to documents that say officers were fearing for their lives before a witness's cameraphone began capturing the altercation.

Officers raced to the Asian Nights club after getting calls of shots fired and reports of a man flashing a gun. When police arrived, they say the suspect fled and put their lives in danger.

The incident, captured on cell phone video, does not show what happened before police arrived. It does depict a man on the ground with two officers trying to restrain him.

Seconds later, two more police arrive on scene and step in to help. Peter Manisavanh was arrested shortly after is charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and evading arrest. 

In the eyes of the Fort Worth Police Department, the suspect put the officers’ lives in danger before the person filming hit record on their phone. The person who shot the footage and emailed it to News 8 asked to not be identified. 

According to an incident report, officers were pursuing the suspect after a fight inside the club. As employees escorted the man outside, he flashed a weapon. When police got to the scene, they claim the suspect ran to his car as officers approached him.

In the car, the report says the suspect tried to drive away and ended up dragging one of the police officers. After the suspect ignored several commands, he was pulled from the car, according to the document.

Seconds later, the filmed confrontation took place.

In a statement, Fort Worth PD says the incident is being reviewed to determine if unnecessary force was used. If so, an internal investigation will be triggered. 

Witnesses told police the suspect was threatening them. Investigators also say they found a pellet gun at the scene.

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