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Cops Smash Obstinate Driver's Window at DUI Stop [Vid]

Cops Smash Obstinate Driver's Window at DUI Stop [Vid]

Video Screen Capture

North County Times via YellowBrix

May 06, 2011

SAN DIEGO — Just two days ago, the Escondido Police Department issued 16 citations after stopping more than 600 drivers at a DUI checkpoint, but Thursday there is word that a stop back in February that was captured on video will be the focus of a court case this summer.

Escondido Police smashed the window of a car during a February 11 checkpoint when the driver refused to comply with them. The two men inside the vehicle videotaped the entire exchange and told the officers they were doing so.

Angel Navarrete and his passenger, Daniel Alfaro, are also heard on the video talking about their plan to challenge the checkpoint by refusing to provide their driver’s licenses. In the exchange seen on the video, an officer verbally warns that he will break the vehicle’s window and Navarrete gives him permission.

Victor Torres, who is representing the driver said the two Escondido men weren’t trying to antagonize the officers but, rather, prove they know their constitutional rights.

“This is the third thing out of the cop’s mouth: ‘if you don’t roll the window down I’m going to break your window.’ That’s why from then on it became a contest of wills,” said Torres. "They repeatedly asked if they’re being detained, at that point they don’t say, ‘show me your driver’s license,’ in fact, at one point they say, ‘show me your driver’s license and we’ll let you go.’ Well then, what is the reason for the initial stop?”

Navarrete was not intoxicated at the time and he had a valid driver’s license but the two men were charged with resisting a police officer, a misdemeanor. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charge in March and are scheduled to appear in court in July.

The Escondido Police Department is not commenting on the video until after the case is heard in court.

Following is a transcript of the confrontation beginning at roughly two minutes and 15 seconds into the clip. Officers are identified — to the best of our ability — by number.

Navarrete: “How you doing?”
Officer #1: “Can you roll your window down?”
Navarrete: “I can hear you just fine.”
Officer #1: “No, no I want you to roll the window down.”
Navarrete: “Why is that sir?”
Officer #1: “Because I’m going to break it if you don’t open it.”
Navarrete:" Then go ahead."
Officer #1: “I’m sorry?”
Navarrete: “Go ahead.”
Officer #1: “Go ahead and break it?”
Navarrete: “It’s up to you.”

Officer #1 motions for another officer to join him.

Navarrete: “Am I being detained or am I free to go?”
Officer #1: “No, you’re not free to go.”
Navarrete: “So am I being detained?”
Officer #1: “You’re being detained.”
Navarrete: “And may I ask why?”
Officer #1 to Officer #2: “He doesn’t want to roll down the window and says he doesn’t have to.”
Officer #2: “Need to check your IDs; sobriety checkpoint. If you don’t you’re going to delay us and we’re just going to take you to jail.”
Navarrete: “Is there a reason… ?”
Officer #2: “We’re not going to let you hold up the checkpoint.”
Navarrete: “What’s the reason for the checkpoint officer?”
Officer #2: “Sobriety checkpoint. It’s been explained to you twice.”
Navarrete: “Am I being detained or am I free to go?”
Officer: “We’re going to arrest you for interfering with what we’re doing. Would you like to go to jail?”
Navarrete: “Am I being detained or am I free to go?”
Officer #2: “Yes, yes you’re being detained. It’s your last opportunity.”
Navarrete: “Why am I being detained?”
Officer #1: “This is your last opportunity.”
Navarrete: “Why am I being detained?”

Officer #2 tries to open door.

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