Police body cam footage shows chaotic arrest of dirt bike rider in Providence
Newly released police body camera footage from the Providence Police Department shows a chaotic arrest in March after police alleged officers were threatened by ATV riders.
According to a police report also gathered by NBC 10 News, Providence police officers saw two dirt bikes breaking traffic laws on Potters Avenue around 4 p.m. that day. Police say neither bike had registration plates attached.
The report says the officers tracked the two bikes' drive to Huntington Avenue and eventually to Dupont Drive, an area the report says is well-known for ATV gatherings.
In the body camera video, officers approach the group of roughly 25–30 ATVs. But as they approach, the bikes and ATVs drive off. One of those riders appears to struggle to start a bike and tries to run away on foot before he's taken down.
The report notes a struggle ensues during the arrest of the rider, later identified as 29-year-old Alexander Encarnacion. Video shows multiple officers trying to apprehend Encarnacion, who the report says was trying to free his hands from officers. Body cam footage shows another cop arrive and appear to punch Encarnacion.
But the arrest was complicated by the return of some of the ATV group, the report says. Officers allege multiple people tried to remove Encarnacion's orange bike from the scene and claim some folks taunted and drove at officers making the arrest, while also kicking the sides of police cruisers on the scene.
The report indicates that's when an officer put his firearm "at the low, ready," while giving verbal commands. He never fired, and the arrest was completed.
You can hear Encarnacion says his face was hit during the arrest, but he declined medical help when asked.
He's facing three charges as a result, including possession of a stolen vehicle and resisting arrest. Police say Encarnacion's bike was "actively stolen" from Woonsocket.
The incident happened days before Mayor Brett Smiley and Police Chief Oscar Perez unveiled the city's new Police Community Response Team, whose sole focus is on keeping illegal dirt bikes and ATVs off city streets.