DPD Officer Accused of Excessive Force Terminated

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier press release, provided by the Dallas Police Department, had the citizen's name spelled Ambrosio Monsavais. On Friday night, police issued the correct name as Ambrosio Monsivais. The name has been corrected in the article. 

Dallas Police Chief David Brown has terminated one of his own. Officer Rene Villanueva has been terminated from his position with the Dallas Police Department after an internal affairs investigation found he used excessive force during a traffic stop.

According to Dallas police, "an internal affairs investigation found that Villanueva failed to conduct a proper felony stop following a pursuit, used excessive force against a citizen and brought discredit to the department." On March 12, Villanueva was indicted by a Dallas County grand jury on charges of official oppression and assault.

The indictment comes after an incident on Nov. 10, 2013 which was caught on police dashcam video. According to DPD, Villanueva was working off-duty at a club in the 400 block of South Buckner Boulevard when he watched Ambrosio Monsivais speed through the parking lot in the early hours of the morning.

Officer Villanueva, who was in a marked squad car, tried to pull Monsivais over, but according to Dallas police, Monsivais fled.

According to investigators, Villanueva caught up with Monsivais a short time later and managed to pull him over, but Villanueva failed to perform a required felony stop and even approached the vehicle with his gun drawn.

Dashcam video shows Villanueva opening the door of Monsivais' pick-up truck, reaching into the truck and making a punching motion, striking the driver inside several times.

Video also shows Villanueva forcing Monsivais to the ground and delivering several more blows while trying to handcuff him.

The president of the National Latino Peace Officers Assocation said the video doesn't tell the whole story of what preceded the confrontation.

"What people don't know is that Rene observed this suspect hit a Dallas Sheriff's officer, which injured his knee, he hit two parked cars in the parking lot," said Robert Arredondo. "He chased him, if you watch the video, you will see the suspect had no regard for oncoming traffic or any person in the area."

"What if officer Villanueva wasn't there and this guy was in your neighborhood?" Officer Villanueva did his job," Arredondo said.

Villanueva joined the Dallas Police Department in March of 2007 and was assigned to the Northeast Patrol Division.

According to the department, under civil service rules, he has the right to appeal. Villanueva does plan to appeal his termination, as well as the criminal charges he faces.

Monsivais, 27, remains in the Dallas County Jail. He's charged with DWI, felony evading arrest and aggravated assault on a public servant. He has an immigration hold as well according to police.

NBC 5's Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.

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