MURRIETA, Calif. (KABC) --The family of a 22-year-old who was injured in a violent confrontation with Murrieta police caught on video have retained an attorney and are weighing a lawsuit against the department.
Minu Rojo said her son Alejandro's entire body is "mashed up" following his arrest.
"Are we looking at a lawsuit? Absolutely," said attorney Brett Parkinson, who has been retained by the family. "We're concerned by what is seen in the videos and we're doing everything we can to make sure Alex's rights are protected."
The arrest of Alejandro Rojo is hard to watch.
The video, recorded on a cellphone, shows an officer repeatedly striking Rojo with a baton while he is on the ground and being partly held by another officer.
Alejandro Rojo was arrested Tuesday night. Police say the incident began after a patrol officer was flagged down by a pedestrian who noticed Rojo acting strangely at a local CVS store in the 25000 block of Hancock Avenue in Murrieta.
Police say he was tearing open packages of medical supplies in the store and possibly ingesting some. His family said he had just gone to the store to buy medicine for an earache.
When the officer tried to question Rojo, police say the 22-year-old became combative. Video released from inside the store shows him struggling with the officer and appearing to reach for his weapon, with his hand on the officer's belt.
Murrieta police said the officer involved in the scuffle suffered a broken hand.
After the altercation in the store, Rojo ran outside, where other officers took him into custody. One officer is seen striking him multiple times with a baton while Rojo appeared to be face down on the ground.
The video was posted on Facebook and then taken down. Now, police are trying to find the person who took the footage.
Meanwhile, Rojo is in the hospital after making bail.
"All his body, all his muscles, are all mashed up really bad, really bad. His face, his back, his elbows, his arms, everything is mashed up," said Rojo's mother, Minu Rojo.
The family and their attorney said they believe there is more to the story than what police are saying.
"From what I've seen and what I understand there's just a very different side to the story than what's being put out by Murrieta police department," Parkinson said.
Alejandro Rojo is now facing serious charges, including attempting to disarm a police officer, resisting a police officer causing injury, trespassing and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
His arraignment is expected in November. His family insists Rojo is innocent of these crimes.
Rojo is expected to recover physically from his injuries, according to his family. Meanwhile, Murrieta police continue to investigate whether excessive force was used in this case.