Video of officers allegedly dragging, kicking man prompts investigation

Posted: Updated:
JERSEY CITY -

A video that allegedly shows Jersey City police officers kicking and dragging a man engulfed in flames has prompted an investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office. 

The video appears to show a man trying to extinguish himself after a crash along Tonnelle Avenue on Sunday night. The individual extinguishes the flames, but then the video appears to show officers kicking and stomping him.

The incident started as a traffic stop and turned into a police chase. The suspect in that chase, Leo Pinkston, allegedly fled officers and caused two crashes: one in which he hit a utility pole and another that caused a car to go up in flames. A police union official said the video clearly shows the officers acted quickly to help put out the flames.

The President of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association released the following statement: "As it should be, this entire incident is being fully investigated. Taking swift action isn't always elegant, but this video clearly shows that the officers acted quickly to extinguish the flames and pull this man out of harm's way."

A city spokesperson, however, told the Jersey Journal that they have serious concerns about how officers handled the incident.

"Our investigators have reviewed the video, and we believe with certainty that this man is the bystander from West New York who suffered burns, not Leo Pinkston, the individual pursued by police," the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said in a written statement. "We will utilize all resources available to the prosecutor's office for a full and thorough investigation as we seek to bring this matter to a rightful conclusion."

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted about the incident Wednesday evening saying, "This is unacceptable. We're IDing officers. We'll pursue termination and criminal charges as appropriate."

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Notable deaths of 2018

    Notable deaths of 2018

    Photos of celebrities, politicians and other notable people who passed in 2018.

    Photos of celebrities, politicians and other notable people who passed in 2018.

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Monday, December 10 2018 12:00 AM EST2018-12-10 05:00:41 GMT
    Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

  • Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Wednesday, December 5 2018 7:37 AM EST2018-12-05 12:37:03 GMT
    From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."