CLEVELAND, Okla. - Quick facts:
- A Cleveland man says a police officer punched him in the face.
- Police say they did what they had to do to keep everyone safe.
- The incident was caught on video.
- See footage from that video on FOX23 News at 10.
A local man says police used excessive force, but officers with the Cleveland Police Department say they did what they had to do to keep everyone safe.
FOX23 got a look at store surveillance footage and police body camera video.
Police say they stopped Jerald Bergin after he had a fight with a family member.
Then, things escalated quickly.
“I probably did call ‘em every name in the book,” Bergin said.
Surveillance video shows Bergin walking home after a previous altercation that landed him a destruction of private property complaint.
WATCH: Surveillance footage from a nearby business
Police pulled up after they were called to the scene. Officers reportedly called for backup after they say they noticed Bergin was bleeding, and that’s when he says the police went too far.
WATCH: Police footage from the scene
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“I think that’s very important that they struck me first, because it explains my actions after that,” he said.
Surveillance from a nearby store shows officers walking up to Bergin, and then one appears to throw a punch.
Police Chief Clinton Stout says that’s not what happened.
“He was so angry, so combative, and it was so hard to control him,” Stout said.
He told FOX23 officers did not use excessive force.
“He [made] a threatening move towards an officer,” Stout said. “He actually [raised] his arm like he’s going to throw [a punch], as you can see on the video.”
Slowed down, the video shows Bergin’s stance. It appears to show that he had both arms at his side when another arm swung out and hit him in the face.
Though Stout says his officers did the right thing, Bergin believes there could have been a better way.
Bergin says he did have a little do drink earlier in the day, but he says his response was due to the fact that he was upset.
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