GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kent County deputy has been fired and accused of attacking a man following a road rage incident while off duty.
Marcelo Aranda was fired after an internal investigation, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. It said he was involved in a “criminal incident” in Ingham County three weeks ago while off duty.
Tyler Lueken told News 8 Aranda attacked him following a road rage incident.
“There was some road rage incidents going on and I tried to get away by getting off at the rest stop,” he said in a Facebook message to News 8.
He said Aranda pulled into the rest stop as well and came up to Lueken’s car, yelling.
“I tried to start the car and takeoff,” he said. “But it was already too late. He already had me pinned underneath the (steering wheel) and I was suffocating.”
Lueken said both he and his passenger told Aranda multiple times that he could not breathe. He told News 8 Aranda then came at him through the window and threw him on the ground.
“During this times the officer has struck me multiple times in the face splitting my lip and causing me to have five or … six stitches,” he said.
Lueken says he was already paralyzed from the chest down prior to the attack.
Video provided to News 8 shows Aranda pinning Lueken under the steering wheel for over a minute and 20 seconds while telling him multiple times to “stop resisting.” Lueken told Aranda multiple times to get off of him. Aranda accused Lueken of driving while intoxicated.
“Help me, help me,” Lueken said to his passenger, who tried convincing Aranda to let him go.
Aranda then got off of Lueken and punched him in the face, before putting his arm around Lueken’s neck, the video shows. He is seen hitting him again, later holding his hand in a fist above Lueken’s face while keeping him halfway out the vehicle.
Court records show Aranda faces a charge of assault, a misdemeanor. Aranda’s attorney declined to comment.
Lueken faces a charge of operating while intoxicated, court records show.
**CORRECTION: In a previous version, it was reported that Tyler Lueken was arrested. He was not arrested. The report has since been corrected. News 8 apologizes for the error.