man accuses austin police of assault and false arrest

In Austin, a man is alleging that he was abused and arrested by police when he witnessed and attempted to record two officers assaulting a woman during a DUI stop: APD officers accused of abuse during New Year's arrest.

34-year-old Antonio Buehler says he was stopping for gas on New Year's Eve when he saw officers violently manhandling a woman. When he began taking pictures of the incident, an officer accused him of interfering with the investigation, pushed him, then placed him under arrest.

The officer says that Buehler spit in his face. Buehler denies it. Here's a video that pieces together two news reports, cameraphone footage, and Buehler's account of what transpired that night:

And here's the short version of what happened, according to Buehler:
On January 1st, 2012 sometime between 1:00 am and 1:30 am, I was driving my friend home from a New Years Eve party. I was the designated driver and was sober. We pulled into the 7-11 on Lamar & West 10th in Austin TX to get gas, and we saw ourselves near a car that was pulled over with two police cruisers behind it. A black woman was being given a field sobriety test in the cold. She seemed to be getting bossed around by the cops, and we both took notice. They had her doing the heel to toe test in high heels. In the passenger seat was a young Hispanic lady who appeared to be on her phone. She was doing nothing aggressive.

As we finished pumping gas, a cop had gone over to the passenger side door and opened it. Soon after we heard a terrible scream and watched in horror as the very built cop started yanking this poor girl from the car. The other cop came up and joined in on the abuse.

My friend and I stayed within two arms lengths of the truck, and tried to take pictures and yelled at the cops to stop assaulting the girl.

After that, one cop came up to me yelling at me and asking why I was taking pictures. I said it was my right in public, and he pushed me into the truck and started yelling in my face. I asked him why he pushed me, I put up my arms to show I wasn't a threat, told him to get out of my face, and that I had done nothing illegal. He then grabbed my arm, and pinned me against the truck, at which time he claimed I "spit" on him.

They arrested me, claimed it was for "interfering with an investigation". By the time I got to their truck, it was a DUI and they made me blow. It didn't register, and by the time I got to jail it was then a "felony harassment" and a "resisting arrest" charge.

The woman was arrested for "public intoxication". The cops said that she was interfering with their DUI investigation because she yelled to her friend not to submit to any tests. Interestingly, neither of us was charged with interfering in an investigation.
Obviously, the Austin Police Department is disputing these claims. Meanwhile, Buehler, a West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran, plans to fight to this all way and has set up a legal defense fund. More here: War Veteran Accuses APD Officers of Assault on DWI Suspect.

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