Did Scottsdale Cops Really Have to Tackle Phoenix Open Pond Swimmer?

phoenixopenswimmer2.jpg
This is a picture of 23-year-old Rigoberto Polanco getting tackled by Scottsdale police after swimming across a pond at the 18th hole of the TPC Scottsdale golf course on Sunday.
We were at the Phoenix Open on Sunday afternoon and watched as a drunk 23-year-old jumped into a pond on the 18th hole at the TPC Scottsdale golf course and swam across it -- just as tournament winner Kyle Stanley was about to tee off.

It was a bonehead move on the part of aquatic golf fan Rigoberto Polanco -- but that doesn't mean it wasn't hilarious, which it was.

We then watched Scottsdale police officers speed across the fairway in golf carts to apprehend Polanco. After helping him out of the water, one of the officers tackled the soaked Polanco to the ground for no apparent reason.

Scottsdale Officer Dave Pubins told us yesterday that Polanco was tackled because he "pulled away" from the officer. As we noted yesterday, we were about 150 yards away -- if Polanco "pulled away," we must have missed it.

See video of Polanco's swim after the jump.

From our vantage point, Polanco appeared to get out of the water and comply with the officers' instructions. Then he was tackled from behind. Video footage of Polanco's swim doesn't appear to show him pull away from the officer, either.

We have the utmost respect and appreciation for the difficult, often thankless job police officers do to keep us safe. That said, there are few things more despicable than a skull-crackin', overzealous cop who uses excessive force against a non-threatening (alleged) petty criminal for no reason other than that he feels like actin' like a tough guy.

Polanco presented literally no threat to the police or spectators -- he was soaking wet, unarmed, and standing (peacefully) in between several cops. Yet, the officer felt it was necessary to tackle him to the ground before placing him in handcuffs.

However, we were 150 yards away -- we didn't hear what he said to the officers, and we may have missed something. Not to mention, Polanco's blood alcohol content was .158 -- nearly twice the legal limit to operate a vehicle.

We want to know what you think: did Scottsdale police really need to tackle Polanco?

Cast your vote -- and see video of the incident -- below.

 


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22 comments
Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Why does Mike Stauffer continue to remain silent on this issue? He is typically right in front publically condemning this type of activity and demanding a leader who will do the same. Where is the professionalism in Scottsdale PD? If they allow this type of police brutality to go on, what other acts of malfeasance are going ignored? Why is this agency promoting this type of behavior and why isn't Stauffer demanding they hold themselves to a higher standard?

Oh, I know why....Stauffer is a hypocrite.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

YPS, most agencies have professional public information officers who make statements about actions taken by their agency. In fact many have policies that specifically exclude anyone else from making statements.

In this case there may be an internal investigation in process and Mike Stauffer would certainly NOT be in a position to make any statements about it as a representative of the agency.

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

 Thank you for pointing out the departmental structure, Tommy. What should be obvious to those insiders appears not to be so obvious at all.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

He isn't bound by any silly "policy"! He is running for sheriff! Why would he have to adhere to policy? You mean to tell me that he doesn't represent the city of Scottsdale police department? Why does he advertise himself as "Scottsdale Police Lieutenant Mike Stauffer" if he doesn't have the authority to do so?

Seems like a conflict of interest to me...

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 because he isn't. You are talking out of your ass because you don't want him to be elected. Apparently you still are trying to save the Joke.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

How can he avoid the publics perception that he is not speaking in behalf of Scottsdale PD when he wears Scottsdale's uniform and promotes himself as a Lieutenant for Scottsdale PD? He cannot.
To argue otherwise flies in the face of common sense.

This is no little gaff. This is a huge red flag as to what we can expect from this guy. He obviously is not concerned about the reputation of the agency that has employed him and given him the title of Lieutenant.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

It is absurd that Mike Stauffer continues to be employed with Scottsdale PD while running for political office. He uses his position with SPD as a footstool to give impression to the public that his has increased authority and stature.

His comments regarding his Facebook posts and the manner in which he has defamed the MCAO is a perfect example of why his continued employment with Scottsdale PD conflicts with his run for Sheriff. He can not use the position of his day job to accelerate his prominence in politics without creating this conflict.

It is troubling that he chooses to continue this charade and should give pause to anyone considering him for the job of Sheriff. He obviously is too selfish to see the position he places his superiors in by remaining an employee and creating derision amongst interagency cooperation and peace for his own personal aspirations. Haven't we had enough of that in the last 20 years?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I don't agree with Mike Stauffer using his rank and title during the campaign, but that's my personal opinion.

That said, however, it may be he was given permission to use same with the caveat that he NOT speak directly for SPD on issues dealing with MCSO.

In THIS incident SPD policy may preclude him having made a statement since those issues are normally handled by professional PIOs, Unless you have a loose-lipped sheriff hanging around who wants to see himself on tv once again.

Use your eyes not our tounge
Use your eyes not our tounge

Your eyes must suck as well! 

You can clearly see on the video him move away from the officers!

 Lets not make this into a race thing because some drunk idiot swam across a pond,I'm sure if it were a white guy getting thrown down you would say what a drunk fool!

Gamboaa
Gamboaa

shut your bitch ass up you piece of shit you dont know what the fuck your talking about you never what if that fat ass cop grabed him the wrong way if that was you i know damn well you would pull away so would i and yeah it is there job to keep people safe from hurting themselves or others but its not fucking okay for them to do shit like that for no reason and all you fucking cops aint shit your just a piece of shit with a metal badge your just like everyone else so dont think you guys have some higher power against everyone else because your nothing special so dont get reality twisted mother fuckers

Triple-6 Gun Mane
Triple-6 Gun Mane

 Who gives a rat's ass what "race" he is. It had nothing to do with "race". Look what happened to that white grandfather on Black Friday in Buckeye last Nov. Cops are equal opportunity tacklers. 
While I agree that his drunken stupor was a lame stunt. In some instances, police brutalities are not justified. Such was the case on that infamous bloody Black Friday in Buckeye.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 exactly. I am not defending the drunk guy, but the police acted like idiots. He was drunk FFS, he didn't need to get slammed like that..

AND FYI it was very similar to the Walmart tackling.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

You were the only one mentioning race.

I'm simply pointing out the hypocracy of Mike Stauffer. He quickly condemns MCSO but remains silent when the negative spin occurs in his own back yard.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 and THIS does not stop him from offering his opinion about other videos that aren't in his "own backyard"

Nurse Rached
Nurse Rached

Every police agency has a policy about commenting publicly about ones own agency. That policy is that it's a "no no" and one must have approval before hand to do so. Sheriff's candidate or not, he's still bound by it untill he resigns.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Hey, I was going to splain that.....hmpffffff......

Hey, Use your eyes not your tongue.....did he lower the bar enough for you to see over and understand now? If not perhaps one of us could give you a boost.

Thanks YPS, yes it would be a bold move for Stauffer to say something. As a candidate for Sheriff he should say something but as an employee of the SPD it might be considered insubordination and he could be fired. Hence he can't  say anything without creating more of a conflict of interest.

One more thing...I didn't watch the video I figured that out without the visualization that had nothing to do the conflict of interest subject to which I spoke.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

You bet! As a candidate for Sheriff of Maricopa County he has made it commonplace to immediately critique police agencies and officers in how arrests are made, how investigations are handled and how suspects are treated. This incident hits real close to home for Stauffer since it is probable he knows the officer in question. What better litmus test do we have than this to provide us with necessary information on how he would react as Sheriff when the court of public opinion is steamrolling one of his own. It's easy to Monday morning quarterback a team you don't belong too. How does he answer the questions when it's someone he knows?

I am certain he has no authority to comment on this as a City of Scottsdale employee, however it is incumbent of him to answer as a candidate for public office.

...and therein lies te conflict of interest Stauffer continues to allow by remaining employed with te Scottsdale Police Department.

Use your eyes not your tongue!
Use your eyes not your tongue!

Is he the PR cop for Scottsdale?  So does he have to respond to every home video of an arrest in his city just because he is running for office? 

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Unfortunately there is so much garbage inside most police departments in Arizona and there will always be bullys who feel the need to intimidate. Lack of love in their lives maybe?.

You are right though about Stauffer not saying anything. He doesn't want to lose his job I suppose.

use your eyes not your tounge
use your eyes not your tounge

Your saying this based on him not responding to a video that is at best "police doing legal police stuff!
 The man was breaking the law and it is their job to stop drunk moron's from harming themselves and others around them no matter what color of skin they have. Let this one be handled by the courts and not the court of public opinion!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

 so you are saying the suspect should sue? It looks to me like he WOULD win!
How about you start by giving him $10K.

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