Facebook video shows UCPD officer forcibly arresting man with prop sword

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A video uploaded to Facebook on Monday morning shows a man being arrested and thrown to the ground by a UCPD officer outside of Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.

In the video, UCPD Officer Sean Aranas is seen asking a man, who was later identified as Andrew Sollars, to present identification. When Sollars refused, Aranas arrested Sollars. During the arrest, Aranas grabbed Sollars’ neck, throwing him to the ground after Sollars repeatedly asked the officer let go of him.

Sollars was arrested Sunday afternoon, according to Berkeley Police Department’s jail booking log. The charges were later dropped, according to Sollars.

According to multiple witnesses, the encounter was initiated when Aranas asked Sollars and his companions to move their bags from where they were sitting outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.

Sollars said Aranas saw a prop sword among his belongings. Aranas began to ask for Sollars’ identification, which he refused to provide, and “went for” the prop sword.

Sollars, who had bought the sword from Goodwill, had already interacted with two UCPD officers who had seen him with it. He said that by the time he was arrested, the prop sword was a “decorative piece at that point — you couldn’t even open it.”

“I talked with police earlier, and we had tried to seal the sword with super glue,” Sollars said. “(The) officer went for (the) sword and tried to open it. I told him not to because the glue wasn’t finished drying.”

Aranas previously faced backlash after he cited and confiscated the earnings of a hot dog vendor outside California Memorial Stadium at a Cal football event, an incident that sparked both a public petition for Aranas’ removal and an eight-month internal UCPD investigation.

Though Aranas was eventually cleared by the internal investigation, UCPD revised its guidelines for dealing with similar incidents.

UCPD was not able to provide a comment on Sollars’ arrest as of press time.

Contact Alexandra Stassinopoulos at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AE_Stass.