Nightclub fight caught on camera

2 witnesses say officers used excessive force

Published On: Feb 18 2013 10:35:35 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 18 2013 07:24:53 PM CST
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HOUSTON -

Two women are going public with video they say shows police officers roughing up a man in a nightclub.

The video was captured inside El Rodeo Nightclub in southeast Houston on Friday. Police said they believe it shows Oscar Castro, who was charged with assaulting a police officer.

"One second to another, you just see the cops jump down and the crowd starts moving. That’s when I started videotaping," said one of the women.

The two witnesses said they didn’t want to show their faces on camera, but wanted to speak out. The first woman said the man in the video didn’t do anything to warrant what happened.

"He didn't fight back. He didn't resist. Nothing," she said.

Police said Castro pushed two people in the crowd, elbowed an officer in the stomach, and then tried tackling another officer.

The women said they don’t know the man in the video, but plan to file a complaint with the Houston Police Department.

"The way I saw him getting kicked getting beat, his face all bloodied, it deserves some answers," the first woman said.

The HPD said a formal complaint must be filed before the video can be reviewed by its internal affairs division.

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According to authorities, the trouble began when a concert had to be cancelled midway because the club had become dangerously overcrowded. Many people were refusing to leave without a refund, police said.

"Basically, everything went chaos," the witness said.

"I had never seen anything like that before, honestly. But what I saw is they were just beating on him," said the second witness.

Once in custody, police said Castro began complaining that officers had injured his shoulder. Authorities said they took him to Ben Taub Hospital before eventually booking him in jail.

The witnesses told Local 2 the ordeal has shaken them up.

"No, I don't plan on going back because if this was going to be this crowded again," the woman said.

An apology written in Spanish was posted outside the club Monday afternoon.

Just minutes after Local 2 took a picture of those signs, a man claiming to be a janitor came outside and ripped them down.