Eyewitness: Cops Kicked, Punched and Battered Cuffed Suspect

Eyewitness says Tel Aviv arrest reminded him of 'indiscriminate prisoner abuse in Guantanamo prison.'

Police officers violently attacked a hand-cuffed suspect, according to a Tel Aviv resident who witnessed the reported arrest in the city's center on Thursday.

"It was a little after 10 A.M. From where I was standing, I could see a police car arriving at the junction of Ibn Gvirol and Shaul Hamelech Streets, and blocking the path of a car standing at the light," the witness said.

"The policemen pulled the young man out of the passenger seat and put him in the police car. Several minutes later a few more police cars arrived and then the driver was removed from the vehicle, and stood facing the car for inspection," he said.

The witnesses added that "at that point the officer holding him kicked him in order to force him to spread his legs. The suspect turned around and the officer just punched him in the face."

According to the witness, the suspect then hit the officer back, sparking what the witness described as a "lynching" as "all the officers at the scene attacked that man, continuously hitting him even after he had fallen to the ground."

"After he was handcuffed," the witness continued, "one of the female police officers passed by him and kicked him in the face."

"The whole thing reminded me of a scene from tapes depicting indiscriminate prisoner abuse in Guantanamo prison. It was frightening," he went on to say.

"I don't think anyone deserved what they did to him. As soon as he struck back after being punched in the face the officers would not stop hitting him, and left the scene only 30 minutes later," the eyewitness said.

The Tel Aviv Police Department said in response that "during an arrest two suspects who were disturbing the peace and vandalizing parked cars tried to escape the scene by car. Since the two, who were intoxicated at the time, resisted arrest and pushed the police offers, reasonable force was used, including pepper spray, in the efforts to detain them."