A VIDEO showing a police officer punching a 13-year-old boy in the ribs as he lies on the ground while being subdued has prompted the boy's father to lodge an official complaint.

The father said his son had been aggressively arrested by two police officers on Monday for riding his bike without a helmet.

"What is New Zealand Police coming to?" he asks, having watched the footage, which shows his 13-year-old son being punched once in the ribs while on the ground.

The officers run towards the boy and pin him to the ground.
The officers run towards the boy and pin him to the ground.


One officer then hits him.
One officer then hits him.

His son had been hanging out with another 15 friends near the Pakuranga Highway in Auckland on Sunday afternoon.

Police say they were aware the video was circulating on social media and defended the officer's actions.

Officers had responded to reports of teens acting aggressively and the footage of the arrest did not show the background to the call-out. The 13-year-old is now facing four charges in relation to the incident.

The father said he believed his son was not wearing a helmet and police called to him to get off his bike and speak to them.

He then rode off and was followed by a police officer who had taken a bike from one of the other youths at the scene.

After a short time, the teen returned to the spot where the video takes place.

The video shows the boy on a bike riding past and a police officer following him also on a bike.

The officer dismounts and then slips over as he chases the boy on foot. The camera pans back to the teen, who is now off his bike and on his stomach.

The two officers arrest the boy and cuff him.

During the arrest one of the officers can be seen punching the teen once in the ribs, just as the second officer subdues him.

The actions prompted the boy's father to file an official compliant.

"He is normally a good kid," he said.

"If he does something wrong then fair enough but he was just riding on a bike.

"They put him in a cop car and they brought him home. He was cuffed and put in the back of the car."

When the father first heard his son's account, he had not seen the video and suspected his son had not told the whole story.

"He came home and talked to his mum and police and said the police had given him a hiding."

But after seeing the video it was clear he was telling the truth, the father said.

Counties Manukau East area commander Wendy Spiller said police received a number of calls regarding the behaviour of a group of teenagers, with members of the public telling police the boys were aggressive and trying to fight other people in Highland Park at about 3.30pm on Sunday.

"Police staff quickly attended and tried to speak with the teenagers, however the main aggressor, who was 13 years old, quickly tried to get away from police on a pushbike and was biking into traffic and ran through a red light.

"The officer managed to borrow another bike and following him for several minutes and caught up to him.

"It is at this point that people were filming on their cellphones and you see police trying to handcuff the teenager who was resisting arrest. The officer is shown carrying out a tactic that can be used to get an offender to release their arm so that we put handcuffs on them."

Ms Spiller said staff were often filmed on cellphones and the interactions posted on social media.

"More often than not these videos will only show a portion of what has happened and perhaps not surprisingly, rarely show the full circumstances, such as our staff being assaulted, abused or spat at."

Ms Spiller said the 13-year-old had been charged with disorderly behaviour, failing to stop, dangerous driving and resisting police.

This article originally appeared on The New Zealand Herald and is reproduced with permission.

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