Mesa police deny excessive force used in arrest

PHOENIX (AP) - Mesa police are denying accusations they used excessive force while arresting a man outside a convenience store last week.

They say the suspect refused to obey police commands, punched an officer in the face and stripped a second off-duty officer's gun out of his waistband - creating a severe safety threat.

A man recorded the arrest on video and it went viral when it was posted on YouTube over the weekend.

Police say they've reviewed the video but determined there was no violation of policies and officers responded with the appropriate use of force to take the suspect into custody.

The Arizona Republic ( says Matatangi Sentituli Tai is being held on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, criminal trespass and criminal damage.

Information from: The Arizona Republic,

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