CEDAR COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL/AP) — Startling video has surfaced of a traffic stop involving an Iowa State patrolman and a motorcyclist who was pulled over near West Liberty.
The dash-cam video from September 25, 2017 shows the nighttime traffic stop near I-80. It shows State Patrolman Robert Smith knock the motorcyclist off his bike onto the ground.
Bryce Yakish can be seen riding on his motorcycle on I-80. Officer Smith then turns his lights on, while exiting the interstate in pursuit of Yakish.
Yakish said he didn’t notice the patrol car until after he pulled into a gas station to fill up. “So I figured normal traffic stop, okay. So I pulled over, turned the bike off and I stepped off the bike,” said Yakish.
The video shows Smith then exiting his vehicle and drawing his firearm at Yakish. “He got out of the car and pulled his gun on me. So I put my hands up and he just came up and hit me backward over my bike, and my bike fell,” said Yakish.
In the video, Yakish can be heard from under the officer saying, “I would’ve gotten down nicely, if you would’ve asked.”
Officer Smith then escorted Yakish to the patrol car while he was complaining of neck pains.
“I really didn’t see you to be honest with you,” said Yakish.
“Yeah, you did,” said Smith. Yakish then responded, “No I didn’t. I can promise you that.”
Yakish said, at the time, his helmet and equipment missing from his bike caused him not to see Smith.
“At the time, I didn’t have mirrors on my bike, as well. They broke off.”
Yakish wound up taking a plea deal, pleading guilty to reckless driving and speeding to avoid a felony charge of eluding.
According to the Associated Press, since the time of Yakish’s arrest, Smith has retired from the Iowa State Patrol and is now an officer with the Durant Police Department.
The Cedar County attorney’s office released the video Monday in response to records requests.
Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington has cited the case as among the reasons he has refused to book all suspects arrested by Smith. He says the video shows “pretty damning” evidence of excessive force and misconduct.