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Caught on camera: NYPD officer cracks alleged fare beater in head with nightstick

Posted at 7:30 AM, Nov 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-21 17:24:45-05

BROOKLYN (PIX11) -- Footage obtained exclusively by PIX11 News Friday shows a violent encounter between a New York City police officer and an alleged fare beater at a Brooklyn subway station.

It happened just before 8 p.m. Thursday at the Myrtle/Broadway station, which services the J and M lines. A commuter on his way home from work captured the alleged rough arrest, apparently sparked by the suspect's attempt to jump the turnstile.

The video begins with an officer cracking Donovan Lawson, 20, of Brooklyn, in the head with a nightstick -- a move that is against department policy.

The man who captured the encounter on camera said it began with the officer using pepper spray against Lawson. That act is not shown in the video but NYPD confirmed that the officer did use the spray against the suspect.

Watch the uncut raw footage of the encounter, below:

The video goes on to show Lawson bleeding from his forehead and disoriented, stumbling and leading the officer around the station, the pair intertwined.

In a statement to PIX11 News, the department said the video is under review by the Internal Affairs unit.

A source within the NYPD said Lawson has no prior arrests to his name. Lawson faces charges of fare beating, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disrupting government administration in this case.

The 20-year-old was taken to a hospital as was the officer, who was treated for hand and wrist injuries, police said.