Man whose leg was broken in videotaped Pasadena arrest speaks out: 'I can't sleep'

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- A man who accused two Pasadena Police Department officers of beating him and breaking his leg, in an incident that was caught on video, spoke out publicly about the confrontation for the first time on Wednesday.

The altercation happened Nov. 9 at an Altadena gas station, where the officers initially approached 21-year-old Christopher Ballew regarding his vehicle's tinted windows.

An officer's body camera and a patrol vehicle's dashboard camera recorded the interaction as it escalated into violence. The footage shows the two officers attempting to handcuff Ballew, then using a metal baton to beat him. At one point, one of the policemen points his handgun at Ballew.

According to a police report, the 21-year-old resisted arrest and grabbed the baton. Ballew says he was trying to obey the officers' commands; he was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on an officer.

After reviewing the footage, prosecutors declined to file charges against him.

"Every night, you know, I wake up at 3 in the morning with the same nightmare about what happened," Ballew said at a news conference. "I've lost sleep every single night since what happened."

"I get anxiety whenever I see a police car," he continued. "Whenever I hear a police siren, my body starts to shake and I start to look around to see if they're coming for me."

Ballew was left with a broken leg and multiple facial injuries after the encounter. His attorneys have filed multiple claims against the city of Pasadena but have not disclosed a monetary amount in damages sought.
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