SAN DIEGO -- A man stopped at a red light downtown on Saturday night was in the wrong place at the right time, and he captured video of a struggle between a police officer and suspect that led to the officer firing his weapon.
Cell phone video from Michael Mendes shows a shirtless man clamoring to the ground and shoving a police officer in a struggle to escape. Moments later, after unsuccessfully attempting to subdue the man with a taser, the officer fired one round from his handgun, police confirmed.
No one was hit by the shot, and officers eventually wrestled the man into custody. The San Diego Police Department identified him as 30-year-old Brent Zadina on Sunday.
Mendes said that the moments captured on video were actually the second time he encountered Zadina that evening.
“I was driving down ... Ash Street and this guy jumped out in the middle of the road. He was shirtless and he jumped right in front of my car. I had to slam on the brakes and he was yelling, acting erratically. Started throwing money out of his wallet at me,” Mendes told FOX 5.
It was on his way back home that Mendes stopped at a red light and saw the same person struggling with a police officer.
“He seemed like he was resisting arrest so the cop tasered him and he went down to the ground, but he was a big guy," Mendes said. "He tried to get up and the officer tried to put handcuffs on him, and the suspect overpowered the officer and pushed him down and started running down the street."
A short time later, Mendes heard a gunshot.
“Once the officer fired his gun he was like ‘I’m done. I’m done.’ and then they got him on the ground,” he recalled.
The officer, a 19-year veteran, had been driving north on India Street near Ash Street a little before 6:45 p.m. on Saturday when he was flagged down by several people who reported that a man was on the hood of a vehicle yelling at the driver, SDPD Lt. Mike Holden said.
Police said it appeared Zadina was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
During the struggle, investigators say the officer feared for his life, and that he had fired the round toward Zadina.
When Zadina is released from an area hospital, he will be arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest through the use of force and violence.