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Tucson police officer arrested after aggravated assault on a suspect

An internal review of an arrest shows a Tucson officer using excessive force on a suspect leading to his own arrest, police said.
Credit: Tucson Police Department

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson police officer was arrested Sunday following a review of bodycam footage which showed he used excessive force on a suspect. 

On Thursday, Tucson police responded to a call about a fight between several people. When they arrived, all the suspects had left, police said. 

Officers were called back shortly after about one of the suspects returning to the area. Officers began to make an arrest on a male suspect when he began to become uncooperative, police said. 

One responding officer, William Gallego, recognized the suspect from previous contact. When Officer Gallego called the suspect by his name and the suspect spit on Gallego's pants, police said. 

Gallego then placed his boot on the back of the suspect's head. He went to his vehicle to get a restraint device and when he came back, he struck the suspect in the head with his shin on two separate occasions, police said. 

The suspect was not injured in the incident. 

On Friday, Gallego's supervisor reviewed the body camera footage from the arrest and a criminal investigation was conducted. Based on the video evidence, investigators determined that Gallego made intentional contact with the suspect's head while he was handcuffed on the ground, police said. 

On Sunday, police gained probable cause to arrest Gallego for aggravated assault. He resigned from the Tucson Police Department after 16 years with the department, police said.