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

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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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