SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A San Diego man is claiming police brutality and has accused four off-duty San Diego Police Department officers of beating him.
The man identified as 24-year-old Jonathan Felix said he has video to prove the alleged incident, which happened on November 7, 2018 in a parking lot outside McGregor’s Ale House in Mission Valley.
Felix said he was finishing up a 16-hour work shift as a cook at Greystone Prime Steak & Seafood in the Gaslamp when he said four loud men who never identified themselves as police officers ganged up on him.
According to Felix, the four off-duty officers never identified themselves as cops, and claims he pulled out a gun to protect himself.
Video from the alleged assault was captured on surveillance cameras from Lil Smiles Dentistry in Mission Valley. The video shows a man being punched and pinned down by four off-duty officers who were armed.
Felix said he suffered a fractured vertebra, injured his hand and had ten cuts in the back of his head. “It is sad because you get ganged up and even if it is my fault or anything, you still get ganged up, beaten up and this is a nightmare. You see it on TV. You see it on the news, but you never think it is going to be you.”
Felix is now suing the San Diego Police Department in a civil case for assault and battery. “I felt threatened for my life because there are four people against one. They pretty much cornered me.”
Douglas Gilliland, a Civil Rights attorney representing Felix, said “I think a lot of stuff goes on and if there was not any video cameras, nothing would ever become of this incident. He [Felix] displays the gun and he pointed down at the ground. One of the officers yells ‘gun’ and all four officers draw a gun and they surround him."
Gilliland also said that based on the video, one of the off-duty officers has his client “in a carotid hold so he is in the process of choking Jonathan while the other officers hit him.” Felix was whipped in the back with a pistol – an injury that required staples, according to Gilliland.
Felix, a convicted felon, was arrested and charged with a felony in possession of a firearm.
“In order to justify what they did, all the officers said that he pointed a gun at them. We can’t see that clearly in the video. If Jonathan pointed a gun at a police officer he would be dead right now," said Gilliland.
Tasha Williamson, a community advocate, said “These were off-duty, drunk officers. They not only violated policy, they violated law. They were also drunk in public, carrying concealed weapons - privately owned weapons – which is against the law,” she said.
The criminal case is underway while Felix’s attorneys will file a civil case against the City of San Diego.
The San Diego Police Department released the following statement regarding the arrest of Felix:
“The San Diego Police Department submitted a criminal case to the District Attorney's Office regarding this incident, in which Mr. Felix pulled a gun on four off-duty police officers. He has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Felix is entitled to the presumption of innocence and the full facts of this case will be litigated as the criminal case proceeds.
As in any situation where there are allegations of misconduct, the San Diego Police Department has initiated an internal investigation. If found, any misconduct will be handled accordingly.”
News 8 was given links to the surveillance videos of the alleged assault uploaded on YouTube.
WATCH SURVEILLANCE VIDEOS OF THE ALLEGED ASSAULT ON JONATHAN FELIX: