Video of the scuffle between the man and the officer has reached more than a quarter-million views, partly because it was billed as an arrest for letting the car idle illegally -- which is not entirely accurate.
Erin Darby Ortiz posted the video of her boyfriend Craig Williams objecting to being grabbed by the officer. Police acknowledged Williams had his car idling outside the store on 47th Avenue.
"It looked like an abuse of power," the vendor, who did not agree to be identified, told FOX40. "The guy just had his car on how bad is that?"
Ortiz said in a Facebook post that Williams has no record and has a cheerful disposition.
But like so many other videos like this, the camera isn’t on from the beginning. When the video begins, it appears the officer already has a grasp of Williams' wrist as if he was trying to control or handcuff him.
Generally speaking, police officers have some discretion about when they can use handcuffs to detain a person. One reason for doing that is if they believe they could be harmed.
After Williams submits, it appears that the officer asks him if he was reaching for something. Williams says no.
Police say he was uncooperative from the beginning. A manager at the store who witnessed the incident told FOX40 that Williams was upset throughout, and vocal about proclaiming his innocence of wrongdoing.
City code makes it illegal to have a running vehicle unattended on public or private property, but police say other violations were involved.
The police department is now investigating how a citation violation escalated to resisting arrest. The store has numerous security cameras and police released body camera videos on Wednesday.
Some observers say video evidence can be misleading.
"There's always more than one side to a story, but just from the video that's gone viral, it looks bad," the vendor said.
Police say they aren't going into detail until the confrontation is fully investigated.