Allentown Police Officer Iannetta Sued For Kicking Non-Compliant Armed Robbery Suspect

allentown police

Allentown Police Officer Iannetta Sued For Kicking Non-Compliant Armed Robbery Suspect

Allentown, Pennsylvania – Allentown Police are being sued for excessive force during the traffic stop of four armed robbery suspects.

A video has been circulating the internet the past few days showing Allentown police officers taking down robbery suspects in 2015. The internet is in an uproar over the video showing an officer “professional wrestling-style kick” a man in the face.

I am not going to side with anyone in this incident, but I will lay out some facts and observations from a law enforcement officer’s point of view.

Some points before we get into the video:

  • Susan Wild, the city solicitor, stated “The actions of Officer Iannetta have been thoroughly reviewed by command staff and the solicitor’s office and found to be appropriate under the circumstances.”
  • Hector Medina-Pena, the man who is kicked, had just told a woman in a strip club “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot you,” and then he took all of the money out of the cash register.
  • Right after the robbery, a BOLO was put out on the 4 suspects including their description and their vehicle description.
  • A felony traffic stop was made.

Watch the video of the traffic stop below

A few things that you may have not seen:

  • As soon as the SUV stops, someone throws the bag of stolen cash out of the back right window.
  • Hector Medina-Pena, who committed the robbery and later pleads guilty, is the first to step out, not the driver of the vehicle.
  • Only 2 officers are on scene at first with 4 suspects who are believed to be armed.
  • Hector Medina-Pena reaches towards his waistband several times. His friends gets on the ground with no problem, but he is slow to act and then stays on all fours. That’s when the kick is delivered.
  • After more officers arrive, you can see one officer grab Medina-Pena’s legs like he is resisting the officer holding him down. That’s when Iannetta drops a knee on Medina-Pena.
  • Medina-Pena was still doing a lot of moving around and officers had still not patted anyone down for weapons yet. They were still trying to get the scene under control without being shot by suspected robbers.

Do you think that this was excessive force? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

  • Shiloh

    LEOs were very effective & efficient in taking down robbery crew …Great Job Officers!

    • Timothy Green

      Robbery crew? The case been adjudicated already?

  • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    POS thugs!!!

  • Harrison7973

    He neutralized the threat the guy was told to get on the ground several times and played dumb. At that point, based on the circumstances, several options are justified, hard empty hands, taser, aerosols, impact weapons (but the most effective that places the officer at the least disadvantaged position is hard empty hands) so justified.

  • Ken Janulewicz

    First thing when not cooperating, knock their dicks in the dirt.

  • ann

    Well Done Officer!!!

  • CarolinaCries

    No brutality there…idiot was told to get on the ground, not on all fours. He could have easily pulled a weapon from his waistband the way he was on his hands and knees. There’s a reason you lay flat with your hands out..so the officer can see your hands at all times until you are cuffed. It’s his own fault he got kicked. They could have shot his ass.

  • Brad Bilger

    So? After watching the video, what’s the complaint? The suspect made several furtive movements towards his waist, concealed by his shirt, remained in a position from which he could reach a possible weapon in his waistline, refused to lay prone on the ground. With a felony traffic stop and an uncooperative suspect, the officer did everything properly. The suspect failed to cooperate. If he’d done as his friends had done and complied, this article wouldn’t even be online.

    • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

      If a LEO is pointing a gun at me, they will not have to tell me to get on the ground. The guy was an idiot and lucky he did not get shot lower his hands to his waist several times.

    • Timothy Green

      If he made furtive movements towards his waist the officer wouldn’t have kicked in the face as he was walking by. Officer felt he wasn’t moving fast enough and kicked him the face. That just bad policing. I really hope you don’t carry a badge. You are precisely the kind of guy that gives good cops a bad name.

      • Brad Bilger

        No sir, I didn’t carry a police badge. I was in Fire and EMS for 40 years and have been on many incidents just like that. The subject was refusing to comply, was still in a position to pull a weapon from under his shirt and the kick was to quickly put the subject down. If the subject had been armed, there would have been no time for the officer to react and to defend himself. The subject refused to comply and remained a visible threat. The two subjects on the passenger side of the vehicle exited and complied with commands and nothing was done to them other than restrained and arrested.

  • Joe Ciesielski

    Sorry but I need to disagree this one time… I had lived in that exact area for 15 years and very few of the population speaks English. It appears the guy was trying to cooperate, etc… Had the officer put his foot on his back and forced him down it would have been a much more proper arrest in my opinion. Although a person may feel like kicking a suspect in the head at times they should be trained better than that.

    • Lnn949

      Apparently he new enough English to tell the girl to give him the money or he’d shoot her.

    • Riot

      If you really think he just felt like kicking someone then why did he kick that specific guy and nobody else?

      Oh, maybe because he wasn’t listening and being a tard?

      Quit being a thug apologist and realize that he kicked a criminal that just robbed someone that wasn’t listening

    • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

      So, just because someone may not speak English you are going to give them a break? That is the kind of attitude that leads to LEO’s being killed. They cannot afford to take the chance that the guy is not going to pull a gun on them.

      If an officer is pointing a gun at you, would you continue to stand and fiddle with your waistband? I doubt you would. I certainly would be on the ground fast. He is lucky to be alive.

    • Scott Harris

      Really? You’d place your foot on the back of someone who is likely armed? You really want to get pulled into a ground fight when you are outnumbered 2:1? You really are a special kind of stupid….

  • Steffy93

    If he doesn’t want to be hurt, he shouldn’t commit crimes and threaten to kill people.

  • David Bill

    He was just lucky he got kicked in the head and nothing else. When you rob someone saying your gonna shoot them, you can bet your ass the cops will bring an ass whooping your way when they find you. Get on the ground and use your manners.

  • Vic

    Go blue, take control at any cost in protecting yours truly.

  • Ambidextrous

    Why does this video on the website crop out the crop out the bottom portion that shows Medina-Pena lying motionless on the ground? Why does the last bullet point say “Medina-Pena was still doing a lot of moving around” when video evidence shows he wasn’t. I think this website is biased and unreliable for accurate information.

  • PADDY

    I’m not saying that all officers are perfect. In this case the officers were out numbered 2-1.
    All suspect’s are believed to be armed and dangerous. It the first on scene to bring things under control as fast as possible with out any one getting shot. That is just what this officer did the guy wanted to keep fighting so he slowed him up so the others could do their job.
    By the did any of you notice the girl on the bike. Good hostage material or could have been shot. The officers saved her life by quick action. JOB WELL DONE.

  • Learning2Farm

    What part of “hands up” didn’t the guy understand and why did the fourth suspect not get out of the vehicle right away? Good job officers. Perhaps those who have a problem with the way the first guy was handled should walk in those officers shoes for a day. I hope the victim who had a gun aimed at her gets her day in court with this loser.

  • righttosayagain

    It needs to be Thrown out