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Witnesses say suspended officer was just doing his job

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Witnesses said police did not use excessive force when officers arrested a man in a stolen car in October.

A Kansas City police officer has been suspended while his actions during the arrest are being investigated.

On Oct. 5, police stopped a car at 24th and Cypress that had been reported stolen in conjunction with an armed robbery.

Two officers tried to arrest the driver, 21-year-old Alfredo Ponce. But one witness told FOX 4 News that Ponce attacked one of the officers, and beat them both before running away. Police called for help and two others arrived to take Ponce into custody just a short distance away.

Neighbor Isabel Reyes saw police arrest Ponce. She said he was combative and continued to fight with all four officers, rather than obey their orders.

"I know they were trying to tell him that he was under arrest and stop resisting," Reyes said. "He kept resisting. It wasn't really excessive because they didn't use any batons or anything like that. All they were trying to do is grab him and pull his arms from where he was laying down and trying to put it behind him. They weren't beating him up with fists or anything."

Ponce's mug shot following the arrest shows a blackened eye and bruising on other areas of his face. Reyes believes that was a result of Ponce fighting with officers and not complying with their orders. Police say one officer involved in the arrest responded in a manner that requires further review.

Another witness, Bobbi Ealom, said she saw Ponce swing at one officer first and believes the officers needed to defend themselves.

"The young man who drew first blood, he turned around and started fighting the officer," Ealom said. "And he was putting some bigs on the officer."

One police officer has been suspended while internal affairs detectives investigate a possible criminal charge of assault. Reyes and Ealom said they didn't see anything they would consider to be police brutality. According to three witnesses who were interviewed by FOX 4 News, that based on the strength and determination Ponce put into fighting with police, officers did their jobs appropriately.

Click here for the story on the officer's suspension.

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