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Bridgeport officer placed on leave, video shows her possibly punching teen

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video accompanying this story is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.

Bridgeport police have placed an officer on leave after video emerged that appears to show her beating a teen suspect. 

The teen, Aaron Kearney, reported a traffic accident Friday night on Seaview Avenue. The 18-year-old was a standout football player at Harding High School last year.

Kearney made a fist gesture at the officer, and more police arrived.

That's when the situation escalated, and Christina Arroyo, who Chief AJ Perez identified as the officer on leave, appears to punch Kearney in the video.

In one exchange, authorities say the teen's mother can be heard saying "You're punching my son."

"I am," Arroyo allegedly responds. "Get back."

"Why is she (expletive) my son up?" the mother asks.

"Get back or you're next," Arroyo responds.

Chief Perez says the video "didn't look good."

"I'll come out and I'll say that," he says. "But we need to wait. Facts before acts."

Internal Affairs is investigating.

The video does not show what led up to the arrest, and Bridgeport police do not wear body cameras, but Kearney's family said over the weekend that this is a clear case of excessive force.

Arroyo has a history of similar allegations -- she was a defendant alongside other officers in two previous excessive force lawsuits. The officers denied the allegations, and both cases were settled out of court.

Kearney's family has hired a lawyer and declined to comment Monday on the incident.

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