WASHINGTON - A video posted on Instagram is going viral after it shows police apparently punching and pepper-spraying a man as they attempted to take him into custody at a Southeast D.C. apartment complex.
Residents say Anthony Chouteau, the man being arrested in the video, has a history of breaking into and squatting in apartments at the G Street complex, and that is why police were called to the area to begin with.
However, some of those neighbors said even though Chouteau should not have been there, he still did not deserve to be treated the way he was by the officers and they recorded the incident on their phones.
In the video, you hear Chouteau shouting expletives to two D.C. police officers. At one point, you see officers appear to try and restrain him. Police are also seen punching and pepper-spraying him.
"They never said I was under arrest, they never said anything,” he told FOX 5. “They never told me to stop. They never told me anything."
Chouteau said two days ago, he received a call about officers trying to take away his pit bull at the apartment complex. According to incident report, it turns out officers were trying to arrest him for squatting in the apartment.
"They were just talking trash,” said Chouteau. “The whole time they were just talking trash about how strong they was."
He admitted he should not have been living there in the first place and that he was smoking marijuana. But in the end, he believes should not have been beaten up.
"They still kept trying to grab me and I asked the police to stop grabbing me,” Chouteau said. “I asked him many times, ‘Please stop grabbing me,’ and still, he never stopped … If they had said I was under arrest, I would have let them arrest me."
Karen Richbow, president of the G Street Apartment Tenant Association, said this is not the first time police have been called about Chouteau.
"He has been escorted out by management and police from vacant apartments,” she said.
But in this case, Richbow believes the violence captured that day by both sides could have been all prevented.
"There are many programs out here that will assist you and give you a little roof over your head,” said Richbow. “So yes, it could have been avoided.”
In the incident report, police also say Chouteau hit one of the officers and spit on him. Police are now reviewing this video. As of right now, they are not commenting any further on this case.
According to the arrest report, Chouteau was arrested for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, consumption of marijuana and unlawful entry.