SAN DIEGO - A local man says he was tackled and then arrested by a San Diego police officer over the weekend while taking video of the officer writing him a ticket for smoking at Mission Beach.
Cellphone video of the incident has received tens of thousands of views on the Internet after the man who was arrested posted it online.
The incident began on the boardwalk in Mission Beach. Escondido resident 26-year-old Adam Pringle said he was told by an officer to put out his cigarette, so he did.
Things got ugly when Pringle pulled out his cellphone camera and started recording that officer writing him a ticket.
The video was shot while Pringle was sitting on the ground as he was being cited for smoking on the boardwalk along Mission Beach.
For a good minute, Pringle refuses to shut off his cellphone camera after San Diego police Officer Reinhold asks him to several times.
Officer Reinhold: Put that away please.
Pringle: No, thank you. I have a right to film this. I am in a public spot.
Officer Reinhold: That phone can be converted into a weapon.
Pringle: This is not a weapon. There is no way this could be a weapon.
Officer Reinhold: OK, I'm going to have to take it away from you.
Pringle: No, you will not.
Eventually, the recording ends. Pringle said that was when his phone was slapped out of his hand by another officer. He said he was then tackled by the officer who was writing him the ticket.
"The larger officer grabbed my left wrist and threw me to the ground," said Pringle. "Once I told him, 'No, I would not stop filming,' that's when tensions just seemed to rise."
Pringle said a gash on his chin, knee, knuckles and ankle show unnecessary force was used.
Meanwhile, Pringle's buddy who was with him at the time recorded this exchange as Pringle was being hauled off to jail.
Officer Reinhold: If someone wants to stand within a couple feet of me and film me, I'm going need to look at that cellphone and make sure it's not a weapon.
Pringle's friend: So if he would have handed it to you?
Officer Reinhold: No problem. I would have looked at it because I've seen it now. It's not a weapon. I would have given it back to him and it would have been done.
San Diego criminal defense attorney Gretchen von Helms told 10News, "There may be some issues here with this guy. He might have been getting to be a little too hostile for the cop's liking."
Von Helms said it does not appear that Pringle's First Amendment rights were infringed upon and added that the officer was probably in the right.
Pringle was arrested at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and booked into jail on $5,000 bail not long after. He bailed out at about 4 a.m. Sunday morning.
Pringle is now in the process of retaining legal counsel and is scheduled to appear in court at the end of May.
10News reached out to the San Diego Police Department late Wednesday evening for a response but has not heard back.