Dallas Police Officer Rene Villanueva Fired for Punching Speeding Driver on Dash Cam

Categories: Crime

Well, here's an even better argument to strap dash-cams on all cops. Dallas Police Department officer Rene Villanueva had claimed in November that a drunken-driving suspect tried to punch him. But footage from the police car showed that it was the officer who was doing all the punching. Chief David Brown released the footage today on the DPD's blog.

The original version of events, Villanueva's police report, tells a very different story from the video above.

In the middle of a traffic stop, the suspect "lunged forward attempting to strike AO Villanueva," the report says. At the same time, the suspect's other hand did some suspicious reaching around the vehicle. So Villanueva, fearing for his safety, then hit the suspect in a very professional-sounding manner: "AO Villanueva gave the AP multiple palm strikes to the side of his head to gain compliance." He then used a "straight arm bar takedown" to get the suspect on the ground.

The suspect, Ambrosio Monsavais, was charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, evading arrest, resisting arrest and DWI.

But while Monsavais sat in jail, a Dallas County Grand Jury reviewed footage showing a dramatically different version of events. And finally, on March 12, Officer Villanueva was indicted on the charges of official oppression and assault by a grand jury.

Chief Brown just announced today that in light of this decision, Villanueva is getting fired.

The arrest happened back on November 10, 2013. Villanueva was off-duty, working at a club, though he still had his squad car with him. It was around 2:30 in the morning when he saw Monsavais speed through the parking lot and hit a car. Villanueva tried to pull the car over, according to Brown, but Monsavais fled.

Sure, all that sounds arrest-worthy and Monsavais has pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him. But it's the way that Villanueva conducted that arrest that got him fired.

Villanueva got Monsavais to pull over in the 400 block of Hillburn Drive. It was then that he began botching the arrest, first by approaching the car alone with his gun already drawn, Brown writes on the DPD blog, which is not the correct way to do a felony traffic stop.

It got worse when the officer reached into the truck and "made a punching motion with his sidearm," Brown explains. After hitting the guy, the officer could then be seen on the squad car dash cam placing him on the ground. He punched him some more before putting him in handcuffs.

Monsavais, who had lacerations on his eye in his mug shot, is still in jail. He was sentenced last week to five years probation for the assault charge. He pleaded guilty to the DWI and evading arrest charges.

But, on the plus side, the "resisting arrest" charge against Monsavais got dismissed. Well, that's nice.

Remarkably, this isn't the first time Villanueva has faced a grand jury. In 2007, he fatally shot a man named Derrick Jones in Oak Cliff. The department released footage from that shooting back in 2008. A grand jury at the time declined to indict Villanueva.


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32 comments
noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas

The cop assaulted a citizen, and deserves to be fired.  In fact, he deserves to be sued. He also lied on an official report. 


Police officers use to be moral and ethical examples in the community.  This is clearly changing, and with these changes come more disrespect for them by ordinary citizens. 


In this case, good riddance to bad rubbish.

churmany
churmany

Doesn't even mention he struck a law enforcement officer to begin with, huh strange the media would be biased or misinform

lebowski300
lebowski300

I get the guy in the truck was a menace, but why not just take his plate number, stop racing breakneck through neighborhoods and pick him up later? The shitty police work at the end was nothing compared to the potentially murderous reckless chase.

ruddski
ruddski

Thank goodness the second officer arrived to protect the perp's neck area with his knee.

And, once again, it appears that Officer Flying Fists has the shaved head, though it's hard to say for sure from this vid, and no news accounts show a photo of him. Perhaps the DO can find this vital info.

Anyhoo, the canned copper has a great career as a bar bouncer in his future, if some other eager Texas police agency doesn't snap him up first.

JohnI
JohnI

Its a shame the police officer lost his job.   

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Another hero first responder.

On the heels of the DPD ossifers' cry fest that they are getting their right to kill indiscriminately taken away. Eeexxcelleeeent.

Granny
Granny

Awesome. Total respect.

rubbercow
rubbercow

Sorry. That guy had it coming. Although, I would much prefer that the police not chase people like this through neighborhoods because it only increases the danger.

That being said, a guy who wrecklessly disregards the lives of many, many people by driving like that through a neighborhood deserves a good, old-fashioned beating just for good measure.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@churmany  
You should return to the video, and fourth-grade English class as well.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@lebowski300

The cop didn't make the guy drive badly, he stopped him from doing so.  And he couldn't just take down the license because the car could have been stolen.

Here, in this country, we don't hold the police accountable for the actions of the criminals they arrest.  We only hold them accountable for their own actions.

If you don't like it, write to your congressman to make it illegal for cops to chase down criminals and make sure to call the cops "murderous".  Then, post the response you get here.


noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas

@JohnI The officer should have been fired, and was.  He also deserves to be sued by the citizen for assault.


It's never a shame when a public servant licensed to carry a gun is fired for poor judgement, lying, overly-aggressive treatment of citizens, or general dishonesty.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@JohnI  
It's a shame you're out of touch with reality, at the same time you're a licensed driver and a registered voter.

ruddski
ruddski

@JohnL

The officer didn't "lose his job", the officer "threw his job away".

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@rubbercow

That may be true in ultra-conservative, third world dictatorships - but here in America, we don't believe cops should be allowed to administer street justice by beating suspects.   We have a more rational way of dealing with such people.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@bvckvs @lebowski300This pursuit, from it's inception, violated DPD pursuit policy.


DPD General orders 300.07 http://www.cga.ct.gov/jud/eyewitness/docs/dallas/Dallas,%20TX%20Police%20Policies.pdf

....

3. An officer may initiate a pursuit under the following circumstances: a. When the officer has probable cause to believe that a felony involving the use or threat of physical force or violence has been, or is about to be, committed, and the officer reasonably believes that the immediate need to apprehend the offender outweighs the risk to any person of collision, injury or death, or b. to assist another law enforcement agency that has initiated a pursuit under the same circumstances. c. All other pursuits are prohibited. 

4. Officers will not pursue a motorist whose only offense is driving while intoxicated if the actions of the driver escalate beyond merely failing to yield to the emergency vehicle.

ruddski
ruddski

@bvckvs

Lebowski expresses the concerns that have led almost every major metropolitan area to review and alter chase policies.

According to available studies, innocent bystanders account for 30-50 percent of high-speed chase fatalities. Some cities have banned such chases. Many others have restricted policies. I can find no evidence that any city has loosened such restrictions.

A high-speed pursuit is akin to a shoot-out in a public area crowded with civilians.

Police have radios. If, in fact, the truck in this instance was stolen, so what? Drunks and car thieves get away with their crimes more often than not.

Incidentally, the police did not make this driver stop driving as he was, the driver stopped voluntarily. Thankfully before he or the over-amped cop killed an innocent bystander.

If the pursuing officer demonstrated the clear loss of control that cost him his job, what makes you think he had sufficient control to pursue safely?

Your logic needs work, it goes against national trends.

ruddski
ruddski

@bvckvs

In one response, to Lebowski, you justify the cops actions in his hi-speed pursuit, in this response, you condemn his loss of control.

Your logic seems a bit fluid.

ruddski
ruddski

Bvckvs

"Ultra-Conservative", like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago?

Or were you thinking Cuba?

rubbercow
rubbercow

Yes, I know that it must be assumed that anyone who does not march in complete lockstep with whatever "progressive" agenda you subscribe to must be "ultra-conservative" because you party cheerleaders are unable to go off-script because you may have to do your own thinking.

I have been voting Democrat for 30 years and don't see any reason to change now. I am ver embarrassed that you consider yourself a Democrat.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@bvckvs @RTGolden1@lebowski300They had nothing to indicate probable cause under 3.a., therefore 3.c. comes immediately into effect.  "All other pursuits are prohibited."  

When you can't argue on the merits of comment, resort to semantics, eh, bucky?

By the way, stop getting your vocabulary meanings from movie titles.  Inception means the act, process or instance of beginning something, or the commencement of something. Merriam-Webster.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @bvckvs@lebowski300

I like the part where you say "from it's inception it violated...policy".  As if the moment the cop thought about chasing him down, he had already violated policy.  That's funny.

JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@ruddski  Correcto! I used to followed police radios on scanners as a hobby years ago when things weren't widely digital. I heard many instances where police called off a dangerous chase only to catch the suspect later because they communicated descriptions and locations via the magic of radio. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@rubbercow That isn't what you wrote in your initial retort, either, but hey, no need to be accurate, right?  And no, your opinions on my voting habits, be they positive or negative, wouldn't affect me at all.  I usually support a libertarian platform (the actual ideals, not the republican representation of them.)  I have voted for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens and no-party yahoos who manage to get themselves on a ballot (usually for lack of better options).  I vote my conscience, whichever candidate can best articulate that their platform best aligns with my values usually gets my vote.

rubbercow
rubbercow

"I have tended to vote a Democrat". I guess you don't read things intelligently. Well, played.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@RTGolden1 @rubbercow  
Repeating "I'm a lifelong Democrat" (or "lifelong Republican") is much easier to memorize than actually reading about issues and voting intelligently.

ruddski
ruddski

@rubbercrow

bvckvs is a liar and a long time DFW troll. If you believe a word he says about being on the "TEA party payroll", or any other payroll for that matter, then there are several Nigerian royalty who would love to have your email addy.

The man is a kook, pure and simple.

rubbercow
rubbercow

Oh! My bad, bro! I did not realize that you are actually much, much worse - a "political operative" .

Sure you see yourself as those things and your reply demonstrates it. I am glad that you are flattered; I don't control the emotional responses of others.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@rubbercow

That's funny because I never said I was a Democrat in the past and I don't consider myself to be one now.  In fact, the only party I ever joined was the Republican party, and then only for a few years in my youth.

I think what confused you is that you've seen me talk about working for the Democrat party before - but didn't realize that I've also been on the payroll of the Republican party, the TEA party, the coffee party and many other political groups.

Still, thank you for the comment;  I don't see myself as you say, "better, smarter, more righteous and more pure than everyone else" but I'm somewhat flattered that you "easily identified" me as such.


rubbercow
rubbercow

I have seen his comments over the years and he is easily identified as the kind of "democrat" who is better, smarter, more righteous and more pure than everyone else.

I am not sure where you are going with your question. I have tended to vote democrat over time as is my right as a US citizen. All voting is essentially pointless if one follows your condescending suggestion. How do you vote? Would you mind if I were to point out how stupid your idea of voting is? My guess would be "yes".

Relax

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@rubbercow He didn't say he was a Democrat.  He has never claimed affiliation with any political party.


30 years voting democrat, how's that working out for you?  Have you figured out yet that voting either Dem or Republican is simply voting for the current status quo and isn't going change a damn thing?

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