LORAIN, OH --During a 2014 arrest, a man was slammed against a police cruiser so hard his face cracks the windshield, according to newly released video that is part of a federal lawsuit against an Ohio police department.
Officers, however, say the video only tells part of the story.
"Disturbing. Shocking. I think it's kind of difficult to watch," remarked defense attorney Mark Petroff, who represents 30-year-old Pele Smith, the man whose face was slammed against the windshield by officer Zachary Ferenec so forcefully that the glass shattered.
"I don't know what type of force it takes to break a windshield, but I would imagine it's pretty substantial," Petroff told WEWS-TV.
During the altercation, Smith's chin made impact with the vehicle. He went to the hospital, but did not need stitches.
Smith was being arrested over suspicions of drug trafficking, for which he has been convicted before.
A police spokesman was advised by city lawyers not to speak on-camera, but said off-camera that officers had to use greater force because Smith was resisting arrest. They said the slam was not intentional.
"It's not an accident. You watch the video and you certainly will form the same opinion. In fact, it looks like he was lifted up and slammed into the windshield," adds Petroff.
Smith is suing the department for monetary damages.