Victoria Officer Who Tasered a 76-year-old Man Has Been Fired
Victoria Police Department dash cam footage
The Victoria police officer who grabbed national attention -- the bad kind -- after he slammed a 76-year-old man onto the hood of a police car and tasered him during a routine traffic stop has been fired.
In December, Victoria police officer Nathanial Robinson was placed on administrative duty for accusations of excessive force stemming from a traffic stop during which he tasered Victoria resident Pete Vasquez twice as Vasquez lay on the ground. The whole thing -- from the point where Robinson pulls Vasquez over right up to the tasering, which happens off-screen -- was captured on dash-camera and sparked national headlines .
Vasquez was driving a car with paper dealership tags into an auto dealership when Robinson pulled him over. Vasquez was recorded on video getting out of the car and motioning to the tags. The car didn't have inspection tags, but according to Texas law, dealership cars aren't required to have them, so the whole thing should have ended there.
But it didn't, of course. Robinson grabbed Vasquez by the arm and slammed him onto the police cruiser to arrest him after Vasquez tried to pull his arm out of the officer's grasp. From there he was shocked twice with a taser. He was in police custody for a couple of hours. "He just acted like a pit bull, and that was it," Vasquez told the Victoria Advocate. "For a while, I thought he was going to pull his gun and shoot me."
The incident happened on December 11 and was first reported by the Advocate on December 13. The Victoria Police Department conducted an internal investigation after that and a decision was finally made about the 23-year-old rookie officer on Monday. VPD Chief J.J. Craig announced that Robinson was fired because he violated three department policies, namely conduct and performance, use of force, and arrest without a warrant, according to the Advocate. Translation: This is just a formal way of saying he tasered a really old guy for absolutely no good reason.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.