Cathedral City releases bodycam footage of former police chief Travis Walker's scuffle with handcuffed suspect

The Cathedral City Police Department on Tuesday published bodycam footage that shows former Police Chief Travis Walker in a physical confrontation with a suspect that sent the man to the hospital.

The release of the footage on the department's YouTube channel comes after at least six months of requests by The Desert Sun to the Cathedral City Police Department for the video.

"We put it on there as a courtesy because it was being requested by several media outlets," said acting police Chief Anthony Yoakum.

Yoakum declined to answer any questions saying, "The video speaks for itself."

The newly released video is one of many lingering questions about the myriad events that preceded the "separation" of Walker from the police department.

Walker was placed on administrative leave on May 2 for unspecified personnel issues.

He left the city in November after he was put on paid leave for six months amid a sexual harassment lawsuit.

In July, police dispatcher Loran Candelas sued Walker and the city. In her sexual harassment suit, she alleged Walker made sexual advances and attempted to force her to have sex with him at a hotel during a conference.

On Nov. 19, Cathedral City announced that Walker was no longer employed with the police department, characterizing the departure from the city as a "separation."

In the video made public Tuesday, Walker is seen on Jan. 10, 2019 taking a handcuffed man out of the back of a patrol car when a scuffle occurs. Ultimately, Walker takes the man, who is identified in court records as 18-year-old Axel Ignacio Perez-Ibarra, to the ground and holds him there.

Cathedral City police had been called to a reported domestic dispute at the Creekside Apartments, 68200 33rd Ave. shortly before 8:30 p.m. that day.

According to a criminal complaint filed Jan. 15, 2019, Perez-Ibarra is accused of "willfully and unlawfully attempt(ing) ... by means of threats and violence to deter and prevent" responding police officers from "performing a duty." He is also accused of resisting arrest and committing a "willfully and unlawfully use (of) force and violence upon the person of Miguel C."

Walker was one of four police officers Perez-Ibarra was accused of assaulting. He was also accused of assaulting a civilian.

According to a July 15 plea agreement with the court, Perez-Ibarra admitted guilt to all charges in this incident. A judge ordered him to enter a Youth Treatment and Education Center program. He would then be released into Juvenile Hall custody. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 3, 2020.


By: ThisIsButter (38788.90)

Tags: police vs handcuffed suspect

Location: Cathedral City