A high-speed car pursuit of a wanted man ended Wednesday with police beating the driver after he appeared to surrender, and two state troopers were relieved from duty Thursday pending investigations into the incident.
The suspect in the chase, Richard Simone, 50, was wanted in Holden, Massachusetts, on multiple warrants, and tore through several towns Wednesday afternoon at speeds exceeding 100 mph, ultimately stopping in Nashua, New Hampshire, after two of his tires blew out.
Local news chopper cameras captured Simone, who wasn't armed, exiting his gray pick-up truck and collapsing to all fours in an apparent surrender. That's when a group of officers rushed him and pummeled him repeatedly.
Both the director of the Massachusetts State Police and the director of the New Hampshire State Police called the video "disturbing" in separate statements Thursday, and both said state troopers involved, one from each of their states, had been relieved from duty.
"The public trust must never be compromised and I assure that any wrongdoing will be dealt with in full compliance of the law and our professional standards of conduct,” New Hampshire State Police Director Col. Robert Quinn said.
Col. Richard McKeon of the Massachusetts State Police said the trooper from his state would face an internal hearing Friday.
Simone's sister, Sabrina Simone, told NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston the dramatic footage "was very shocking, to say the least."
"Just disturbing to see when someone, you know, willingly gets out of the vehicle, goes to their knees, goes flat out on their stomach, it doesn’t seem like there was anything apparent in his hands or anything like that," she said.
Simone was wanted on multiple warrants for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny and failure to stop for police. In addition to Massachusetts State Police, Nashua officers and New Hampshire State Police were also involved in the pursuit.
Nashua police officers did not comment.
"All New Hampshire public safety officials are held to the highest standards, and the Governor expects this will be fully investigated.," the office of New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a statement Thursday. The New Hampshire Attorney General's office also said it would conduct an investigation.
Simone was taken into custody and arraigned Thursday. He is being held without bail in New Hampshire.