Video of Chico police clubbing man during arrest goes national

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A still from the video released of the police officers beating an individual.


Chico recently found itself in the national spotlight after a video showing police officers clubbing a DUI suspect with a baton was posted last week on the celebrity website TMZ.

Sean Patrick Reardon was arrested on Feb. 18 following a hit-and-run attempt after crashing his vehicle into a parked black Lexus on the corner of Sixth Street and Normal Avenue.

Reardon spent the next few days in intensive care at Enloe Medical Center because of the resulting injuries.

Two months later, the incident took on new life after TMZ released a 20-second clip of Chico police officers using batons to subdue Reardon.

“It looked like a murder scene,” said John Marshall, who lives near the location where Reardon’s arrest took place. “I understand cops need to think of their safety first, but it seemed excessive.”

The TMZ video was just a brief portion of a struggle that lasted more than 10 minutes, Marshall said.

He said that during that time, about seven or eight cars arrived on the scene.

Onlookers had ample time to set up speakers on their porch, and began playing Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys,” the theme song for the television show “Cops.”

“They were pretty relentless,” Marshall said. “They were beating him for a good 10 minutes.”

Marshall has since been visited by a private investigator. Based on the questions being asked, Marshall and his roommates believe that the investigator may have been looking into a potential lawsuit against the city.

Tyler Dennison, a student at Chico State, and a group of friends had seen four police vehicles turn onto Normal Avenue at a high speed and decided to walk toward the incident.

“I wasn’t there to see if he (Reardon) resisted or threw punches right after he crashed,” Dennison said.

He said that by the time he and his friends arrived to the corner of Sixth and Normal, “They had their knees on his head, holding his face down to pavement.”

“The dude just kept yelling, ‘Fuck you. I didn’t do anything. Let me see your badge,’” Dennison said. “It took seven officers to shackle him and arrest him.”

Dennison said he is unable to come to a conclusion as to where the actions taken by the officers were excessive.

“I feel like I would have to know the whole story to take a strong stance on the issue,” he said.

Dennison also said that he and two friends had posted videos on Snapchat that were deleted by the app somehow.

The TMZ video was just a fraction of the entire incident, said Mike O’Brien, a captain with the Chico Police Department, and it did not fully capture Reardon’s failure to comply with officers.

“The video is just one small piece of the violence of the situation,” O’Brien said. “Mr. Reardon was actively fighting our officers. He ripped a pocket off an officer and reached for his own waistband, which can be dangerous for everyone involved.”

Reardon was arrested on several charges, including, but not limited to, hit-and-run, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence.

Reardon’s prosecution is set for preliminary hearing next month, where additional witnesses testimonies will be heard.

Dylan de Wit can be reached at [email protected] or @DylanTdeWit on Twitter.