Illegal Arrest: Nigerian Mathias Ometu Arrested in Texas While Jogging

Illegal Arrest: Nigerian Mathias Ometu Arrested in Texas While Jogging

A Nigerian-American Mattias Ometu was forcefully arrested by police in San Antonio, Texas while jogging.

Video and images of the incident posted to social media show officers forcefully shoving the man into a police vehicle as he screams.

The police report stated that officers stopped the 33-year old and told him they had “reasonable suspicion to believe” he “matched the description of an alleged strangulation family violence incident”.

The actual suspect the police were looking for was Darren Anthony Smith, who does not in any way resemble Ometu, except that both are black.

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The victim of the family violence incident met officers and revealed that Ometu was not the suspect.

He was however arrested and charged with two counts of assault on a peace officer, a statement from the San Antonio Police Department said.

The report claims that Ometu refused to give his name and date of birth after several requests and his “demeanour became aggressive.”

The police report added that during the incident, Ometu allegedly kicked two officers, striking one in the face.

However, bystanders who witnessed the arrest and filmed the interaction between Ometu and police, stated that Ometu did not seem aggressive or confrontational toward the officers.

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The footage shows officers struggling with Ometu to push him into the back of a police vehicle and he is heard yelling, “You’re choking me!” several times as the struggle continues for over a minute.

Ometu, 33, spent two days in the Bexar County Jail following the illegal arrest on Tuesday.

In a petition to Congresswoman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, US-based Nigerian rights activist, Emmanuel Ogebe, said Ometu, an insurance professional was arbitrarily apprehended under mistaken identity.

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He was “manhandled and unjustly arrested despite there being no factual basis for such action”.

The San Antonio Police Department has since acknowledged that Ometu was not the suspect its men were looking for.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a tweet on Thursday that he is “seeking a full account of this incident, which is currently under investigation.” 

Mattias Ometu’s arrest came in the week, that protesters demonstrated over the unjust shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

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