SAN ANTONIO -- Three San Antonio Police officers are being investigated for possibly using excessive force, after a May 20 incident in west San Antonio left a man with injuries to his face, skull and neck.
Roger Carlos was in the 10600 block of Westover Hills Boulevard taking photos of a building that will soon be home to his wife's medical practice, when he was approached by three officers around 2:30 p.m.
The officers were identified as an undercover drug task force officer and two SAPD SWAT members.
According to an SAPD incident report released to the I-Team, the officers had been pursuing a suspect nearby who was wanted on a felony warrant.
Josue Rodriguez, 27, fled from police away from Loop 410 along the Highway 151 access road before he exited at Westover Hills and ditched his car in the parking lot of a restaurant. The restaurant is a few hundred feet from where Carlos was standing.
"All three of them started beating me on the head," said Carlos, who still showed visible signs of the beating when he spoke with KENS 5 weeks after the incident.
"It was unbelievable. I couldn't believe it was happening to me."
Carlos said he was struck about 50 times, even though he complied with the officers' instructions and did not fight back.
Shortly after being handcuffed and explaining to officers that he owned the property, a fourth officer approached and said the suspect was in custody nearby.
Rodriguez faces charges of evading and resisting arrest, possessing an illegal firearm and possessing a controlled substance.
SAPD officers said they found a sawed-off shotgun and ammunition in Rodriguez's car and 20 grams of methamphetamine underneath a car near where he fled on foot.
Carlos meanwhile, was hospitalized after the beating. He was treated for a large gash above his eye and a broken tooth.
Swelling of his head was so severe, doctors performed a CT scan of Carlos' head as well.
"I could understand taking somebody down hard. I can understand the need for that and securing them, but that's not what happened. I got on the ground, I was no threat to anybody, I was fully compliant," said Carlos, who has no criminal history.
"Clearly it was a case of mistaken identity," SAPD Chief William McManus said.
"From the report that I've read, from the photo that I saw and from your description, I've not seen anything at this point that would indicate to me that anything out of order happened."
McManus said officers reported that Carlos kept his hands underneath his body when he went to the ground, and officers had no idea if Carlos had a weapon.
When describing the beating to KENS 5, Carlos said his hands were out to his sides at all times.
The findings of the internal investigation will be given to the department's advisory action board.
The board will then make a recommendation of a possible punishment to Chief McManus, who will then pass judgement on the incident.
"I want to be clear, I'm not sitting here in prejudgment," said Chief McManus, who said the information used in our interview came from reports supplied by officers.
Carlos told the I-Team he has also filed a complaint against the officers with the FBI.