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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65 comments
Bobby
Bobby

Ok, I'm such a douche-bag, I admit it, how come everyone can see it but me ? 

RPfriend
RPfriend

Lets clear this up a bit. I personally know the man who jumped into the pond. I was also there standing on the other side of the pond filming the whole escapade take place. At no time did he ever "pull away" from the police officers. I would like to upload the "TRUE" footage of what really took place.  

Rex Reason
Rex Reason

This is really a non-story considering the corruption and ineptness of the Phoenix PD.

Why are you so afraid to touch that subject, New Times?

Johnny
Johnny

No and they also didn't need to shoot Jason Postrollo dead on January 28th. Now that they're engaged in a cover-up (withholding the police report from the public) it's starting to look really bad for this out-of-control PD.

P dingleberry
P dingleberry

From the article is sounds like a cop took a 10 yard sprint and laid this guy out.  I could see where the guy kinda flailed and then the cop took him down very easily without much force from directly behind the guy. Police brutality needs to be covered, but this is a non event. 

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

You're making no sense to think that Stauffer should say something about every thing that happens with every police department because he is running for sheriff.    He's not the PR person for Scottsdale.    That's the job of the PR person for Scottsdale P.D. to talk for Scottsdale P.D.   Any cop who spoke out of line would either reprimanded or fired.   As far as I know he only speaks politics when he's off duty.    Yes, he wants to become known as being someone of reputable character so he let's us know he's a Lt. in the Scottsdale P.D.   Why do you have such a hard on for Stauffer?    Do just feel like arguing today?    But I actually do understand because sometimes I think I'm making great sense when I'm really not.    It's just that momentary misfire of synapses that does it to us all.

Albert
Albert

Hmm... the guy is on private property... and he's possibly intoxicated from the owners providing alcohol for sale on the private property. Really the most that should have happened.... is that they should  ask him to leave their property, and obviously if he couldn't drive... Call a cab for him. I would consider this as an assault.. 

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

We don't know what was said after the guy was pulled out of the water. However, many times too many officers on scene can aggravate, rather than help, the situation. If this guy had run across the outfield during a MLB game he would be tackle and taken down and crowd would be cheering.

Liquid stupid got the guy in trouble, not the cops.

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

This country has way to many peolpe with guns and badges and the authority to use both. peace

Greg
Greg

Ridiculous... he did pull away... drunk or on drugs... you guess and the cops should call you over to deal with him... dumb ass.

common sense
common sense

Life lesson. Do what the cop asks or you get tackled. Has no one seen the show COPS? You make ANY sort of move and the officer will protect him/herself first. 
Looks like he made some sort of 'quck' move. ...and he was hardly 'tackled...' looks like he was going down anyway and the cop just made sure he wasn't going anywhere...
Yea- cops. Boo- drunck a-holes that break the rules.

Hock
Hock

This is really low on my care radar.  

Dodgerfever25
Dodgerfever25

He just wanted all those ProV1's at the bottom of the lake.

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.

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