SACRAMENTO, CA - Two witnesses to a violent confrontation that ended with the suspect dying in police custody say YouTube video of the incident doesn't tell the whole story.
Two Sacramento police officers struggled to subdue a man who had barricaded himself and an employee inside a cellphone store on Folsom Boulevard late Friday afternoon.
STORY: Man dies after being taken into custody
John and Michelle Allanbach had gone to the shopping center for dinner and watched the struggle from just a few yards away.
John Allanach said the suspect had the upper hand in the moments before the video begins and that the male police officer was in a fight for his life.
"The guy literally took the cop and body-slammed him and was on top of him," said Allanach, who is seen in the background of the video holding a small baseball bat. "The guy was telling him I'm going to "f" you up."
Allanbach said the female officer began striking the suspect with her baton after pepper spray had no effect.
"She hit him with the baton. It didn't do anything. It was just pissing him off," Allanbach said.
Allanbach said he prepared to strike the suspect with the baseball bat he carries in the trunk of his car while his wife called for help on the police radio.
But in the meantime, the couple said, a man came across the parking lot at a full sprint and kicked the suspect in the abdomen.
"He kicked him like he was kicking a record field goal," Allanbach said.
The couple said the man's kick turned the tide of the struggle, allowing the male police officer to get on top. That's where the video begins, they said.
John Allanbach called News10 after hearing public comments about a perceived overreaction by police.
"All I know is the cop was in trouble," he said.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net