MANAHATTAN — A police officer put a Queens skateboarder into a headlock, tackled him to the ground and pepper-sprayed him for resisting arrest and violating a rule against skating in Columbus Circle, according to police and a video.
Yibin Mu, 22, said he spent the night in jail after the run-in on Sunday at about 5 p.m. that was caught on tape.
"I was just skating around, killing some time. I saw this police officer approaching. I got off my board to ask him [if I could skate] and the first thing he did was reach for my board," he said, noting he didn't see any "No Skateboarding" signs in the area.
"My first reaction was, 'Whoa, what is he doing?'"
Mu said he held the board behind his back using one hand and held his other arm up to ward off the officer, who grabbed his arm with one hand and used his other to put him in a headlock.
"You're getting a summons," the officer told Mu, before flipping him to the ground, he said.
Mu asked what he had done wrong and refused to comply when asked to sit down, according to police.
He refused to listen to police commands when he was told about the violation and wouldn't put his hands behind his back, police said.
After a brief struggle, Mu was taken to the ground and pepper-sprayed, police confirmed.
He was charged with resisting arrest, disobeying park rules and defacing park property, according to court records.
Mu, a sophomore at Queens College, moved to New York City from China with his family when he was six and now lives in Middle Village. He's currently looking for a lawyer to represent him after Sunday's arrest, he said.
"I'm taking a lot of sociology classes and urban studies classes, and I'm learning how there's a lot of inequality in America," he said. "I'm thinking, 'This is it. This is how I become marginalized.'"
He's due back in court on Dec. 16.