Acting Police Chief Says Other Tactics Could Have Been Used in Aspen Hill Arrest

Acting Police Chief Says Other Tactics Could Have Been Used in Aspen Hill Arrest

Marcus Jones says Arnoldo Pesoa was told 10 times to comply with officers before being restrained

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Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones said Friday that officers who arrested a suspect in Aspen Hill July 3 could have used different tactics that would have avoided the physical confrontation that ensued and led to one of the officers being charged with second degree assault.

Officer Kevin Moris was charged Tuesday with second degree assault and misconduct after a video surfaced of undercover officers arresting 19-year-old Arnaldo Pesoa, of Silver Spring. The video shows Moris kneeing Pesoa, who was being arrested for selling psilocybin mushrooms, in the back of the head while being restrained by the other officers.

Jones said during a Friday morning press conference that Pesoa was sitting at a booth in the restaurant and was told by officers 10 times to get up because he was under arrest, but refused.

“That individual [Pesoa] was already under arrest. He continued to kick, spit and do some other things. There could have been some better options being made, but I won’t go into that specifically,” Jones told reporters.

Jones said officers are trained in de-escalation tactics and try to avoid confrontations whenever possible, but sometimes it is unavoidable.

“We do get people to cooperate to eliminate and minimize these types of altercations that we have,” he said.

Jones said despite the controversy surrounding the Aspen Hill incident and others that have occurred recently, he still has confidence in the police force. Most officers, he said, do not engage in physical altercations when making arrests.

“We get complaints from time to time on our officers. But this is not something I’ve seen [that is] widespread,” he said.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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