Video disputes Suffolk police account of crash that preceded alleged assault by officers

CORAM, Long Island (WABC) -- Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini has dropped several charges against a man who alleges he was beaten by police while he was being arrested.

Eyewitness News has obtained surveillance video from the night of the incident, which tells a different story from what police initially said happened.

Back in February, Suffolk police said Christopher Cruz was in a stolen white Jeep at a gas station in Coram when he rammed into a police car, injuring an officer.

However, the new video shows the police cruiser striking Cruz's car as he drives away.
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Officers claimed the driver rammed a police cruiser, but video shows the cop car hitting the stolen Jeep

Three miles later, Cruz says he surrendered to officers with his hands up. But he says they beat him to the ground.

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"He surrendered with his hands up," attorney Fred Brewington said in March. "It was violence against another human being by police officers who thought that they were above the law and engaged, not only in brutality, but in gang assault."

Police said Cruz injured an officer while being placed under arrest.

On Wednesday, the Suffolk County District Attorney dismissed three of the five charges Cruz was facing, including assault and resisting arrest.

He's still facing charges of grand larceny for allegedly stealing the Jeep out of a resident's driveway.

Eyewitness News reached out to the District Attorney's Office for comment, but so far, there has been no response.

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Two Suffolk County police officers have already been suspended without pay.

Four others -- three officers and one supervisor -- have been placed on modified duty after attorneys say they failed to intervene with the alleged assault.

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