SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Did San Antonio Police Officers use excessive force on a pregnant woman? That’s what the Department is looking into tonight, after a Fox San Antonio viewer shot video of three officers holding down a pregnant woman. One of those officers hits her repeatedly.
It was the sound of a woman screaming that caught Lorenzo Rios’s attention. “All I heard was her yelling to get off me, I heard her yell I’m pregnant,” said Rios. So, he started to record this video with his cell phone. “She was already cuffed and they started to beat her, which I don’t think was right. It was pretty messed up. She was already down and pretty small compared to the other officers.”
According to a police report, 21-year-old Destiny Rios was arrested for prostitution and resisting arrest. She’s 5’1, 126 pounds and pregnant. “She did look pregnant, she looked about two months pregnant,” said Rios. It was the 4th of July around 5:30 p.m., when an officer saw Rios walking on Culebra. When he stopped to ask her name, he found out she had an active warrant for prostitution. When he started to arrest her, she fought back.
“Size makes no difference, it’s the amount of fight in the person,” said Chief William McManus, San Antonio Police. Fox San Antonio gave the police department a copy of the video, but the Chief says he didn’t see it. When we offered to show him, he said he didn’t need to see it. “What’s on the video is in my understanding is what the officer reported.” But, we found inconsistencies. We counted eight hits in the video, but the police report only says there were four or five. “Whether it was four or five or whether it was 8, it’s really irrelevant if the officer felt he needed to strike her 8 times in order to get her to comply and put handcuffs on, then that’s how many times he struck her,” said McManus.
Rios also told police she used heroin the day before. The man behind the camera says no one deserves this. “She didn’t need to be beaten like that like, she was small, she was already cuffed, she wasn’t resisting but for them to come and jump on her and punch her not once, but 9 times that was pretty messed up,” said Rios.
The police report says once handcuffs were on her, she was not struck. The Chief says he’s looking into all of this, but right now all of the officers are still on regular duty. Rios suffered minor injuries. Tonight, she’s still in the Bexar County Jail.