AUSTIN (KXAN) - Two New Year's Eve arrests are now under the microscope of the Austin police monitor after two suspects filed complaints against two Austin police officers.
The arrest on North Lamar Boulevard, recorded by an onlooker and posted on YouTube, is now the center of a controversial investigation.
The man struggling with the officer at the back of the truck is Antonio Buehler. He claims police responded aggressively to him pulling out a camera and taking pictures of a drunk driving stop officers were making.
But police said that's not what bothered them nor what ultimately led to his arrest. According to the arrest report, the officer said Buehler was "extremely loud ... confrontational" and "in my face" before he spit in the officer's face.
Austin Police Cpl. Anthony Hipolito said spitting in an officer's face is an automatic third-degree felony.
Buehler denied the reported behavior and filed a complaint with the Austin Police Monitor's office.
Now, a second complaint has been filed by the passenger Buehler was taking pictures of -- Norma Pizana -- the person involved in the original drunk driving stop.
Police said Pizana, 28, started yelling and telling the driver not to take any sobriety tests.
"After several warnings for her to stay in the truck to comply with the officer's orders, she continued to make verbal outbursts and basically interfere with the investigation," said Hipolito.
Police also said Pizana kept making calls on her cell phone after officers told her to stop until the investigation was complete. When the officer tried to take the phone away, the report states Pizana tried to block him with her arm and then hit the officer's arm several times.
Police pulled her out of the car and said that when Pizana refused to stand on her feet, she was handcuffed.
"She ended up on her knees, as we've seen on some of the video footage and the still pictures, and was told she was interfering with the police investigation," said Pizana's attorney, Mindy Montford.
Montford wants to know why police booked her client into jail on a public intoxication charge and decided to add two more charges a week and a half later of resisting arrest and failure to obey a police order.
"That is the question of the day because in all of my years of doing criminal law, I would be hard-pressed to find not only a Class C where additional charges were filed weeks after, but the very fact that a lieutenant from APD called my client to tell her about these additional charges two weeks later."
Montford is waiting for police to turn over their dash cam video from the arrest. Austin police said they will do so when their investigation in complete.
Montford fought a public intoxication charge of her own in 2009 and won. The case was dropped after she filed a complaint with the Austin Police Monitor's office.
Calls to the Police Monitor's Office were not returned Wednesday.
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