Witness Says Officer Punched Teen Before Struggle

 A student who witnessed an altercation outside a Hartford Burger King that left a police officer with injuries and led to charges for a 17-year-old boy said there is more to the story and claims the police officer punched the teen.

Keylee Scott, of Hartford, said she was there during the struggle on Tuesday night at on Main Street, at a spot where police said teens are known to loiter.

A 17-year-old high school student facing charges, including assaulting an officer and inciting a riot, and he is accused of nearly causing Police Officer Roberto Maldonado to lose consciousness. 

Several witnesses recorded the struggle between the officer and teen, but Scott said there is another side and the officer told the group of teens to leave the restaurant even though they were waiting for food.

“He said, ‘You need to come outside before I drag you outside,” Scott said.

Her friend argued with the police officer to stay and things escalated from there, she said.

Video that surfaced shows the officer take the teen outside and, seconds later, the teen had the officer in a chokehold.

Scott says what matters happened in the seconds before and does not show up on the video.

“And that’s when he dragged him outside and hit him twice in the head,” Scott said.

Hartford Police had no comment beyond what they said soon after the incident happened, stressing that there have been no reports of police brutality or excessive force.

“If you look at the raw uncut, you can see how potentially dangerous (the) situation it is for everybody involved,” Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said.

The department has launched an internal investigation into the incident and said they are asking witnesses to come forward.

That is why Scott is sharing her side with officers today.

“I felt like he tried to calm down the cop because he was dragging him and punching him in the face. What else can you do? You’re not just going to sit there and take the hit,” she said.

The officer, a 16-year veteran on the force, has not been charged aand has since recovered from his injuries.

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