An African-American man in Merced, California, went to a convenience store to get iced tea and reportedly had an argument with the store clerk. The incident left him with a bleeding and swollen face.
William Colbert, a welder and pipe-fitter, 39, was heading home after a visit to Mercy Medical Center for an allergic reaction to a medication, when he decided to stop at an 24/7 store at Olive Avenue to grab a drink.
The man got into an argument with the cashier over the payment of the iced tea and told him to refund the money back on his credit card. The clerk refused to do so and that started an argument between the two.
The store employee then called the cops on Colbert and reportedly locked him outside the store. He also reportedly told police the black man possessed a weapon. As soon as police arrived, they found Colbert standing outside the store. He recognized one of the officers, Joseph Opinski, as his classmate at Merced College.
Opinski went inside the store to talk to the clerk when the other officer, William McComb, took him into custody and came at him “like a bat out of hell.”
The move shocked Colbert and he asked officers why he was being arrested when he hadn’t committed a crime. As soon as he asked that question, McComb along with two other officers reportedly threw him into a puddle.
He added he was trying to keep his face out of a puddle so he could breathe. The ordeal of the brutal arrest didn’t end there; he was then handcuffed and placed in a police car. Colbert said his handcuffs were so tight that his hands started to become numb. The man said it was so painful that he kicked the car and demanded the officers to loosen the cuffs. As a result the cops pulled him out of the car and pressed his knees in his back.
The arrest was so brutal and painful that Colbert had to request medical assistance. He was taken to a medical facility and McComb stayed with him in the room during the medical treatment. Colbert added he was so irritated by the entire incident that at one point he called the cops “coward” and also called one officer “b****.”
However, he denied the allegation of resisting arrest. Colbert was transferred to county jail from the hospital.
As soon as he arrived, another officer, Brandon Wilkins, along with other cops aggressively “shoved” him from behind. As a last resort, Colbert slid himself to floor but the officers continued to kick and punch him brutally.
“This is the shit people talk about on the news that I think will never happen to me. I’m thankful to be alive,” he said.
Deputies at the county jail later sent Colbert back to the hospital because he needed medical assistance. However, he was charged with resisting arrest, battery of an officer and threatening an officer.
Merced Police Department launched an internal investigation into the incident. However, it refused to officially release names of officers who were being investigated.
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