TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson police officer resigned and is facing a felony charge following an incident on Thursday, Sept. 17.
The Tucson Police Department said William Gallego, 48, put his boot on a handcuffed suspect’s head and kicked him twice during an arrest.
Gallego, a 16-year veteran of the TPD, resigned before being booked into jail Sept. 20 on a felony charge of aggravated assault.
The incident began around 7:20 p.m. on Sept. 17 when officers were called to the Roy Laos Transit Center for a fight. The suspects left the area before officers could arrive.
About an hour later, one of the suspects returned and officers were called back to the center.
A security guard pointed out the suspect and told officers he wanted him arrested for trespassing.
The TPD said the suspect initially complied with officers and laid face down on the ground and put his hands out.
As he was being handcuffed, the suspect allegedly started to resist by kicking, yelling and refusing to give officers his name.
Officer Gallego showed up and recognized the suspect, so he called him out by name.
The suspect, who has not been named, allegedly spit on Gallego’s leg. The TPD said Gallego put his boot on the back of the suspect’s neck before walking to his vehicle to get a restraint device.
“When Gallego returned, he walked past the suspect and struck his head with his shin on two separate occasions,” the TPD said in a release. “Officers were able to restrain the suspect’s legs, but he refused to stand and they carried him to their patrol car.”
The suspect, who was not injured, was booked on charges of trespassing and failure to identify himself to law enforcement.
On Sept. 18, Gallego’s supervisor watched body cam video from the incident. The supervisor then notified his superiors, who also watched the video, and a criminal investigation was launched.
On Sept. 20, Gallego resigned from TPD was booked on a felony charge of aggravated assault.