WATCH: Incident with off-duty Tucson police officer under investigation
Robert Szelewski captured on video holding women on ground in parking lot of local restaurant
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An incident with an off-duty Tucson police officer has gone viral after at least part of it was captured on video.
Officer Robert Szelewski was involved in a Nov. 14 incident with three women in the parking lot of a local restaurant. The video, which starts at least two minutes after the confrontation started, shows Szelewski pinning two of the women to the ground.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: This video contains language and acts of violence that may offend some people.
The TPD said the incident is under “administrative investigation by the department.” It will also be reviewed by the Pima County Attorney’s Office, which would determine whether any criminal charges will be issued.
One of the women, Brittany Aloisi-Wiles, was cited for a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
Nicole Whitted, Aloisi-Wiles’ sister, filmed the incident.
She said she and her sister went to brunch to celebrate their mom Michelle Aloisi’s birthday.
That celebration took a turn in the parking lot as the three were leaving the restaurant.
“So I look and notice him coming at us very quickly,” Whitted said of Szelewski, who was off-duty and in his personal vehicle. “I turn to grab my mom and sister.”
Whitted claims Szelewski sped up in the parking lot before jumping out of the vehicle.
She said he threw his arms up and said “just (freaking) walk.”
Whitted said the situation escalated into an argument between Aloisi-Wiles and Szelewski.
“He then chest bumps her and takes her down,” Whitted claimed.
Whitted said that is when her mother Michelle intervened.
“She ran over just to get the officer off of my sister,” Whitted said.
In the video, which can be viewed above, one can see Szelewski holding both women down and putting his forearm over Aloisi-Wiles’ neck.
Whitted said that’s when they found out Szelewski was an officer.
“At that moment, I knew I could not charge at him,” she said. “I could not try to protect them. It was powerless. I don’t know if he has a gun.”
A 911 call was made and a bystander intervened, eventually convincing Szelewski let the women go.
Aloisi-Wiles was cited for disorderly conduct, a misdeamnor. Szelewski was interviewed and the incident is under review.
Tucson’s Police Chief Chris Magnus released a statement on Sunday, but the TPD said it will not offer further comment during the investigation.
“I appreciate that the video of this incident raises concerns, but it is important that we adhere to the legal requirement of due process and allow both the criminal and administrative investigations to be completed before determinations are made and further steps are taken,” Magnus said. “The department holds its members to high standards both on and off duty, and we will review this matter in light of those standards.”
KOLD reached out to officer Szelewski, who declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation.
“Thank you for your inquiry,” Szelewski wrote in an email. “At this time, as the internal Administrative Review of the incident is still ongoing, I am unable to comment on this incident. At such time that the investigation has concluded, I will consider interview requests on a case-by-case basis.”
During an interview with a TPD officer after the incident, Whitted said she used her mom’s phone to record the incident because she was on the phone with 911 at the time and it would not allow her to record.
Whitted said she started recording around two minutes into the incident.
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