National News

Man Punched by Yuba City Officer During Arrest Speaks Out

Posted August 10

— Ronald Ybarra's back on his couch after being released from jail.

"I'm still confused. It happened so quick. I'm still dumbfounded. He just came off like he was mad at me, like I'd taken his girlfriend," he said.

Ybarra may be in the comfort of his own home now, but he bears the scars of an arrest he says should never have happened at all -- let alone in the way a circulating cell phone video shows that it did.

"Banging my head on the ground. I knew that he was trying to burn me on the asphalt. I was telling them 'hey this is hot, let me up, you're burning me,'" he said.

According to the 58-year-old commercial property landlord, what happened to him in Yuba City makes even less sense since he's the one who called police for help Monday.

"I 911'd this man and (police) just weren't hearing it. They don't want to listen," he said.

Ybarra says the officer he called for wasn't listening to his claim that he'd spotted a man his bank identified as the thief who stole $5,000 from him last month through some credit card cash access checks.

The supposed thief is a friend of a friend of his son's.

When he saw him in town by Taco Bell the talk he was trying to have turned into a tussle.

Police just stopped Ybarra and what happened next has fired up social media.

One witness who didn't want to be identified told FOX40 what she saw during the incident.

"The guy just literally laid the biggest punch on this poor cop," she said.

FOX40 asked Ybarra about that characterization.

"No ma'am I never hit him. If I would have hit him I would be charged with assaulting a police officer," Ybarra said.

And that wasn't one of the initial charges that have now all been dropped.

Ybarra's wife thinks this whole situation comes down to the fact that her husband is an outspoken man whose critiques of law enforcement aren't appreciated in a small town.

"If he thinks they're violating his rights, he's not. We're a sovereign nation. We have rights here and just because they don't like ... It doesn't matter if somebody is a criminal and they've paid their debt to society, does that mean the officers no longer have to protect that citizen's rights? absolutely not," said Kathi Ybarra.

We did try to verify Ybarra's call to 911 by checking his call log.

It wasn't there, but he believes that's because jailers deleted it while he was in custody -- another law enforcement abuse, according to him.

The takedown is under internal investigation by Yuba City police.

They have declined to identify the officer involved, but have confirmed that he remains out on the beat.

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