California city pays $1.5 million and cop charged with assault after videotaped takedown of girl
The city of Rialto has paid $1.5 million to a teenage girl who was videotaped being thrown to the ground by a police officer who subsequently left his job and now faces criminal charges.
Ivan Delgadillo-Arce has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault under the color of authority. A hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, at Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga was continued to June 23. His attorney, Noel Arreola, declined to comment on the case on Wednesday.
Delgadillo-Arce left the department on April 28, said Cpl. Nic Parcher, who declined to say whether the officer was fired or resigned.
After the Feb. 11, 2022, incident, which began when officers stopped the girl who was riding a motorized bicycle, police Chief Mark Kling said his department was investigating the officer’s decision to trip the girl and later place his hand on the girl’s throat during the arrest.
One of the elements required to file the charge of assault under the color of authority is that the officer “acted without legal necessity,” said Jacquelyn Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. She declined to say which two specific actions prompted the charges.
Kling was apologetic.
“At a time when our Police Department strives to build community relationships, we certainly fell short in this encounter,” Kling said in a statement shortly afterward.
The girl is receiving $1 million of the settlement, court records show. She received $200,000 on her 18th birthday in April, with the rest coming in an annuity funded by the city. The Law Offices of Caree Harper will receive $500,000.
The girl, 16 at the time, was riding near Linden and Pinedale avenues when Delgadillo-Arce and his partner stopped her. Delgadillo-Arce became upset when the girl wouldn’t provide her address, saying only that she lived in the neighborhood.
Delgadillo-Arce, according to comments attributed in the lawsuit to his uniform-worn video camera audio, threatened to take her bicycle away.
“You’re not talking to your Dada or your Mama,” Delgadillo-Arce is quoted as saying. “You’re talking to police officers, OK? Stop being a smart ass and we can treat you like a young lady, OK?”
Delgadillo-Arce said she was traveling 40 mph and that it was not safe to do so. The girl denied going that fast, and Delgadillo-Arce responded that the officers had to “get up to like 80” to catch her.
“And you were hauling ass,” Delgadillo-Arce added. “So again, be respectful and we’ll be respectful. Don’t be a smart ass and we’ll be respectful.”
Delgadillo-Arce threatened to take her to the police station in handcuffs if she wouldn’t provide her address. She then called out to someone nearby and asked him to videotape the encounter, which later appeared on TikTok, and to call her brother.
Delgadillo-Arce and the girl continued to argue, and then the officer wrapped his right arm around her waist and spun her to the ground. She attempted to get up but Delgadillo-Arce pushed her down.
“Did you just try to bite me? Did you just try to bite me?” Delgadillo-Arce said, the suit says citing the body-worn camera footage, as the girl screamed.
He then placed his hands on her neck area, the cellphone video shows.
The girl was placed in the patrol car. It was then, the lawsuit said, that Delgadillo-Arce struck her in the throat “sucker-punch style” while she was handcuffed.
A person identified in the lawsuit as the girl’s grandfather arrived and spoke to the officers. According to the lawsuit, the body-worn camera video captured the other officer telling the grandfather: “She’s under arrest for disrespecting us.” (That officer was not accused of misconduct by the department, Parcher said.)
The girl then can be heard saying, “He hurt my neck!”
Delgadillo-Arce told the grandfather, according to the lawsuit: “We were as polite as we could possibly be to her.”