Cellphone video of MTS arrest prompts outrage: MTS defends officers' actions

Dog seen in video taken to county animal shelter

SAN DIEGO - Cellphone video that 10News aired Monday night showing the dramatic arrest of a man at a downtown trolley station is prompting 10News viewers' concern and much debate.

The video was shot by San Diego City College student Krystal Delgado after she saw the Metropolitan Transit System officers surround the man on Saturday evening. He has now been identified as 30-year-old Christian Thompson.

In the video, Thompson is seen trying to read the officer's name and badge number to write it down on a notepad in his left hand when three officers make their move.

"The officer in front of him grabs his wrist and the notebook that's in his hand goes flying," Delgado told 10News as she talked us through her cellphone video. "When that first officer makes that motion, all of the other ones move in."

10News was at the El Cajon courthouse on Tuesday as Thompson appeared in a video arraignment.

Judge Patricia Garcia released the Iraq War veteran from custody on his own recognizance.

Many viewers also asked what happened to his dog, which was seen in the video.

It was something Thompson himself wanted to know Saturday evening while being held down on the concrete.

"I want my dog. I want my dog," he is heard yelling in the video.

10News sought out the dog's whereabouts and found 3-year-old "Diego" at the county animal shelter.

"Diego came into our shelter on Saturday evening," said Dan DeSousa, who is with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services.

DeSousa says by law, there is a 14-day hold on an animal when someone is taken into custody.

"If the owner does not show up within 14 days, then the dog does become the property of the Animal Services," he added.

Thompson will have to pay a $69 fee to get the dog out.

The MTS tells 10News that the confrontation actually began because of Diego. They say the dog became aggressive while they were checking on Thompson's welfare, as he was passed out on a bench at the trolley station.

An MTS spokeswoman defended the action caught on the cellphone video, saying in a statement: "Thompson resisted and was restrained by multiple officers, which is standard procedure to secure a suspect as safely as possible."

"The officers acted in accordance with established procedures to preserve the safety of passengers at the station," the spokeswoman said.

The spokeswoman added that no MTS officers carry Tasers, despite what the woman is overheard saying in the video.

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