Worcester Police investigating after violent arrest caught on camera

WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - An alarming arrest in Worcester has police defending their actions after video surfaced of a violent struggle.

A video that surfaced online, filmed by bystanders as the arrest unfolded, has caused some controversy as some are questioning the amount of force used by officers.

Two brothers were arrested at Riviera Show Club in Worcester early Sunday morning. for allegedly fighting patrons and police.

At approximately 1:50 AM, two officers separated a fight involving the men and other patrons in a parking lot.

The suspects, Mitchell Lugo, 23, and Zachary Lugo, 27 of Spencer MA, were arrested.

After police told them to leave the area, the brothers continued to scream profanities at the individuals, according to police. Officers struggled to arrest the brothers while they were actively fighting and resisting arrest. During the altercation, Zachary Lugo was allegedly seen trying to attempt to grab an officer’s firearm.

As both brothers were on the ground, more officers arrived. Both Mitchell and Zachary Lugo continued to kick and scream profanities at officers while waiting for the wagon, police said. Both brothers focused in particular on an Asian-American police officer. The brothers allegedly called him racial slurs and threatened that they knew people who would kill the officer’s family for them.

Police say the force used to subdue the men is being reviewed but appears to be within reason.

“When we conduct these investigations, we gather as much information and as many facts as possible,” stated Chief Sargent.   “Our members of the Bureau of Professional Standards then review the circumstances, level and the degree to which force was used. The initial review indicates that the use of force falls within the parameters of policy and training standards under the circumstances. A full investigation is being conducted.”

Still, some people who viewed the video felt differently about the actions of the officer.

“I think that’s terrible,” said Angelo Pena while watching the video. “I mean, they’re supposed to protect and serve but not abuse people like that.”

Police are encouraging people not to jump to their own conclusions. Cameras on the inside and outside of the building captured additional footage that they say will all be part of the department’s investigation.

Michael Lugo is charged with trespass, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, civil rights violation, and assault and battery on a police officer. Zachary Lugo is charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, attempt to disarm a police officer, and assault and battery on a police officer.

The two were scheduled to be arraigned in Worcester District Court Tuesday.


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