A Providence, Rhode Island man was charged with assaulting police officers at a night club last year but surveillance footage released this week shows that officers started the raucous.
Tuesday, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office announced that 29-year-old Esmelin Fajardo will be allowed to enter a not guilty plea regarding the charges related to a melee in a club during closing hours.
Rhode Island’s WPRI Channel 12 News reports, the 29-year-old will have the eight months after he was charged wiped clean from his record as ordered by Judge Kristin Rodgers.
According to the news report, Fajardo and officers clashed when the two Providence police officers thought that he was a patron instead of an employee back in September of last year.
He told them that he worked at the club owned by his uncle but they forced him to leave anyway like the others. Allegedly, the officer ordered Fajardo to “Get the f**k out of here.”
Officers claimed that he attacked them first with his left hand but Fajardo has birth defect preventing that from happening.
“There was no way for me to make a fist,” Fajardo tells WPRI. “Especially with my left hand,” which has no movable fingers. “I stepped away. You can see it in the video. He grabbed me, punched my face, hit me with a flashlight. I was just trying to save my life.”
Officers also pepper sprayed the man repeatedly.
The footage ultimately showed that officers did not disclose all details.
Since the footage was released, the Providence police officers have been disciplined for the caught-on-video melee.