Santa Barbara Police defend arresting officer

Police say officer acted appropriately during recent controversial arrest

POSTED: 11:33 PM PDT Apr 26, 2013    UPDATED: 04:05 PM PDT Apr 27, 2013 
jerry_cox_5
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

NewsChannel 3 is getting a very different story about what happened during a controversial arrest earlier this week.

Video of Jerry Cox's arrest, and a Newschannel 3 exclusive interview with the Navy veteran, caught Vincent Stallberg's attention.

"It really bothered me that the Santa Barbara police could treat a human being this way," he explained.

Stallberg has lived in Santa Barbara for more than thirty years.

The incident compelled him to speak out.

NewsChannel 3 met Stallberg at the police station where he went to talk to officers about his concerns. Our cameras were not allowed inside.

"I came to the police department to find out exactly what happened and why," said Stallberg.

On Monday, Cox claims he was arrested while trying to get into his own car.

Santa Barbara police have a very different take on what happened. 

The officer was on a break when she saw what she thought was Cox trying to break into a car.

She says when she approached him, he walked away and refused to cooperate.

The officer did fire her stun gun at Cox, but the department claims it didn't make full contact.

"It''s important for both darts to hit the target to complete the electrical circuit for the device to work.  So if only one hit Mr. Cox, it would have been impossible for him to feel the effects of the taser," explained Sgt. Riley Harwood, of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The officer was able to take Cox down and handcuff him.

She says during the arrest, he never mentioned the car belonged to him.

The district attorney decided not to file charges, and the department does plan to review its actions.

"I'm sure in this incident, like any other with the use of physical force, will be reviewed," said Harwood.

Mr. Stallberg says he won't feel safe until the case is fully investigated, and believes Cox deserves an apology.  Stallberg plans to file a complaint against the arresting officer with the Santa Barbara Police Department.