A video that has gone viral on Facebook appears to show, according to witnesses, a California Highway Patrol officer purposely knocking down a motorcycle rider in Rancho Cucamonga.
In a press release, CHP officials disputed that account and say that the officer had been pursuing the motorcycle who was traveling 'at a high rate of speed' and making unsafe lane changes on the eastbound 210 freeway. When the pursuit left the freeway and continued onto 19th Street, CHP officials say:
"For unknown reasons, the left side of the Yamaha made contact with the right side of the patrol vehicle on 19th Street west of Carnelian Street. The impact caused the rider to be ejected to the ground,"
The video was caught on Facebook live, by Sonia Villalobos, who was riding as a passenger with a group of motorcycle riders called "Elite Bikerz" who were stopped at a red light.
After hearing a siren, she focused on the pursuit and saw a CHP officer's car, with the lights on pursuing a motorcycle rider. Shortly after they passed the group, the CHP officer's car collides with the motorcycle, causing the rider to fall.
The group of motorcycle riders rushed to the scene. The video shows the officer handcuff the rider, identified as Raul Martinez, 26, while a crowd gathers around him shouting. At one point the officer has to push another motorcycle rider away from his vehicle.
The CHP says Martinez suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment before being booked on suspicion of felony evading.