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El Monte officer kicks suspect in the head after he surrenders [Updated]

May 13, 2009 |  4:07 pm

Chase TV news footage shows an El Monte police officer kicking a car chase suspect in the head after the suspect appears to surrender.

Video from Fox 11 News showed the incident at the end of a car chase that wound through the San Gabriel Valley earlier this afternoon, ending in a collision in Pico Rivera. The suspect jumped out of his car and ran. He eventually stopped and dropped to the ground on his stomach, with his hands flat to the ground and above his head. The officer ran up to him and kicked him on the side of the head.

Lt. Chuck Carlson of the El Monte Police Department said his officers made the arrest, and the internal affairs department is investigating the incident.

Carlson said internal affairs will review video of the incident and also take statements from officers.

The suspect is a 20-year-old man who was on parole. He was taken to Greater El Monte Hospital. But it's unclear whether his injuries were sustained by an earlier car crash or from the blow to the head.

The officer appears to high-five another officer after the suspect is cuffed.

[Updated: 4:50 p.m.: Carlson identified the suspect as Richard Rodriguez, 23, of El Monte. He said Rodriguez is a member of the El Monte Flores street gang and had been released from state prison in January. He was wanted for a parole violation, but it's unclear if that led to the chase. Check out video from KNBC 4 below.]

--Ari B. Bloomekatz and Andrew Blankstein

Image: KNBC 4 News