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VIDEO: NYPD Officer Seen Punching Suspect Pinned To Ground

By Murray Weiss | August 12, 2016 6:18pm


THE BRONX — A video showing a Bronx police officer punching a burglary suspect in the head as he and two other officers struggled inside a McDonald’s in May surfaced on Instagram Friday.

The 27-second video showed three officers — two of them bleeding, one from a broken nose — were trying to handcuff a struggling suspect as the officer with the bloody nose starts punching him.

Eyewitnesses can be heard yelling at the officers to stop hitting the suspect.

The video, however, provided no information on where the incident occurred.

The NYPD late Friday afternoon provided a detailed account, claiming that the video was a snippet of a seven-minute recording that showed the incident began when the suspect slammed a detective in the face, breaking his nose.

According to a police spokesman, two detectives from the Bronx Warrants Squad recognized Darnell Simmons, 26, as he headed into a McDonalds at 1820 Eastchester Road on May 4 at 1:46 p.m.

At the time, Simmons was wanted for a parole violation and for a series of burglaries in Manhattan and The Bronx, a department spokesman said.

When the detectives walked up to talk with him, Simmons immediately slammed one detective in the nose, and then started trading punches with him and his partner.

The fight continued for several minutes as people in the restaurant started called 911, reporting that the police needed help.

“These cops were taking a beating,” a source said.

In the struggle, Simmons punched and kicked the officers, according to court records. He slammed one officer's head into the counter and bit his hand, the records said.

On the Instagram video, a third person can be seen trying to help pin down Simmons. He was a customer who came to the detective's aide, a source told DNAinfo New York.

“I am trying to help," he says on the video. "If he stops fighting, I won’t hit him.”

Simmons was finally taken into custody and brought to Jacobi Medical Center with minor injuries, police say.

Meanwhile, the two detectives — one who was bleeding from the top of his head — were also taken to Jacobi hospital. Their injuries included a broken noise, two herniated disks, a torn ligament, among other injuries, police officials said.

One of the detectives required stitches, and was out of work for several months.

"The short video clip does not tell the real story," said Michael Palladino, the detectives' union president. "The entire seven minute video captures what the cops really had to deal with to overcome this guy's violent resistance and spells out necessary force to me."

The case was referred at the time to the Citizen’s Complaint Review Board, which reviewed the entire video, and witnesses, but not Simmons, who refused to cooperate, a spokesman said. The CCRB ultimately took no action against the officers, a sp after reviewing the entire video and witnesses.

The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is conducting an additional review of the incident, a department spokesman said.