“This is a very unfortunate incident for everyone involved,” Craig said in a news release. “The Victoria Police Department places a high value on public trust. The men and women of the Victoria Police Department work hard each and every day to provide professional service with pride and respect to the community.”
According to the Victoria Advocate, Robinson, 23, was hired by the police force two years ago after he graduated from the police academy. A widely circulated dashboard camera video of the encounter shows Vasquez, who works as a mechanic, being pulled over while driving a dealer car back to the lot at Adam’s Auto Mart.
In the video, Robinson is seen leaving his patrol vehicle and pointing out the expired sticker as Vasquez exits the car. He appears to reach for Vasquez’s arm, but the man pulls away. After a brief scuffle, Robinson tackles the Vasquez before using a stun gun on him.
“I’m putting the handcuffs on. Put your hands on the back of your back,” Vasquez said Robinson told him, according to Houston’s NBC affiliate. “And then I turn around, and he pulls that Taser, and he shot me with it. And, you know, it looked like he’s enjoying that.”
According to the audio of a conversation with another officer on the scene, which was included in the dashboard camera footage, Vasquez said: “He came over here and got nasty with me. I’m not going to put up with it, I don’t care who it is. Then he grabbed me and throw [sic] me on the pavement there, almost knocked my head on that d— pole, then he started Tasing.”
“I hit my knees and my back … my shoulder and everything else,” Vasquez said.
Several witnesses saw the incident, including Larry Urich, 62, a sales manager at the dealership
“I told the officer, ‘What in the hell are you doing?’ This gentleman is 76 years old,” Urich said, according to the Advocate. “The cop told me to stand back, but I didn’t shut up. I told him he was a [expletive] Nazi Stormtrooper.”
Shortly after the incident, Craig confirmed that although an expired inspection sticker is usually addressed with a citation, cars with dealer tags are exempt.
Craig said he apologized to Vasquez, who was not charged with any wrongdoing, according to the Advocate.
A lawyer representing Vasquez told the Advocate that the Vasquez family is pleased with the outcome.
“Given how we’ve seen it around the country, we’re not surprised by [the chief’s] decision,” attorney Rachel Messer told the paper.
Robinson may face charges
Craig said the criminal portion of the investigation, which was completed by the Texas Rangers, has been forwarded to the Victoria District Attorney’s Office for review. District attorney Stephen Tyler told the Advocate that possible charges include official oppression,