DAVIS — They’re accused of assaulting police officers during the later hours of Picnic Day in Davis. But they say it was undercover Davis police officers — officers who weren’t wearing uniforms or badges — who threw the first punches.
They do admit there was an exchange of words, after they claim officers tried to hit them with an unmarked minivan police were riding in.
“As I started to turn away, the cop came out the car and rushed me. And that’s when he tried to hit me. Next thing you know, I got hit from behind me in my jaw by another officer,” said Antwoine Perry, who was arrested at Picnic Day.
Perry says he was blindsided, but said it didn’t end there.
“When he threw me to the ground and put his knee into my head, had me restrained, he then told me he was a police officer, and that’s when I gave all my force up,” Perry said.
He says the cop who hit him first, then turned to his girlfriend, Anjelica, putting her in choke as she gasped for air.
“I blacked out honestly for a couple of seconds. And I woke up on the ground,” she said.
“Outta nowhere I seen fists being thrown, punches being thrown. Then at a glance I had saw the female friend got hit and put in a chokehold. And me, the way I was born and raised, the way I grew up, you don’t put hands on ladies, regardless,” said Alexander Craver, who was also arrested on Picnic Day.
And that’s when the couple’s mutual friend Alexander, came to Anjelica’s defense. He says the whole time, he didn’t know these were undercover cops.
“My first instinct, I just grabbed him in a restraint and it’s in the video. I did not throw one punch. Period. The whole time,” Craver said.
Craver says he surrendered once that officer identified himself as a cop.
In response, Davis police say they have clear video evidence that corroborates that they initially tried to stop the group after one suspect lifted his shirt to motion he had a gun. But they say that video is not available to us.
Police say an officer got out of the minivan to try to grab the armed man and immediately got hit in the head.
Police say that officer was then hit several more times and taken to the ground where he was kicked in the head several times and choked.
The suspects were eventually arrested. No gun was found.
But the suspects say police painted the wrong picture of them, which is the reason they decided to come forward.
“We just wanna clarify everything, so people don’t portray us as something that we’re not,” Perry said.