Antonio Buehler, 34, a combat veteran of Kosovo and Iraq, West Point graduate, and middle school teacher, was serving as a designated driver shortly after midnight on January 1 when he saw a woman being abused outside a 7-11. The costumed assailants were members of the Austin PD, who were conducting what they called a DWI arrest. To Buehler and his friends, the spectacle looked more like a gang assault.
"We hear a loud scream, and we look over, and we see the cop violently yanking the female out of the car onto the ground," Buehler told local ABC affiliate KVUE. "She is screaming. The other cop ran up and they both sort of grabbed her arms. Her hands were behind her back straight out and they lifted her up by her arms. It looked extremely painful."
With the help of a friend, Buehler began to document this act of "street justice" with his cell phone. That prompted one of the assailants to peel away and confront Buehler, who was nowhere near the scene of the assault.
According to Buehler, the cop snarled, "What the hell are you taking pictures for?"
"My response was, `I am allowed to. Public official in a public place.'"
As he was trained to, the cop started to lie in an effort to devise a cover charge against Buehler. First he claimed that Buehler was somehow "interfering with the investigation," which was patently untrue. Then the cop assaulted Buhler by pushing the unresisting man — who would have been more than a match for the donut-grazer, had he chosen to fight back — up against a truck.
"Once he had me pinned up against the back of the truck he kept leaning in," Buehler continued. "He kept pushing me."
Eventually the cop got so close that Buehler actually breathed on him — which gave him a pretext to accuse the witness of "spitting" on him. After finally wrestling Buehler (who offered only passive resistance) to the ground, being joined by one of his comrades, and threatening to shoot him with a Taser, the cop took him to a BAT van—- a patently unreliable mobile alcohol testing unit — in the hope of documenting that the witness was intoxicated, which he wasn't. The cop finally settled on charging him with "harassing a public servant" — a third-degree felony — and "resisting arrest."
Through Craig's List, Buehler was able to obtain a second video of the event that corroborates key elements of his story. According to KVUE, "there was a female who witnessed the altercation and offered to give Beuhler's friend her card," but was prevented from doing so by the police.