DEER PARK - A witness says Suffolk police used "brutal force" to remove a female driver from her car after she led officers on a wild chase that ended in a crash.
The incident Sunday night was captured on video that has now been widely shared on social media. It shows the woman, identified as 22-year-old Nyearia Fulton, being grabbed by her ankles and dragged out of her car by a Suffolk County police officer.
In the video, the officer is heard telling the woman to get out of her car. She refuses, and then two other officers rush over. The video shows that one grabbed Fulton by her neck and shoved her to the ground, and she was placed in cuffs as witnesses and neighbors looked on.
Officials say the incident began when an officer attempted to pull Fulton over around 6:15 p.m. for driving with a suspended registration. Officers say she kept going, speeding down East First Avenue in Deer Park before losing control of her car.
Witnesses say Fulton veered off the road, knocked over a stop sign and crashed into a some bushes before police caught up to her.
Neighbor Joan Lewis says she and her husband James ran out of their house when they heard the crash on their lawn. She says her husband tried to flag another police car down to stop the arrest because he was concerned. On the video, he is heard saying, "Stop, we need another policeman here."
"He's flagging the other car down to say, 'This officer is out of control, do something,' and then they jumped on her, so it was like three or four policemen all going crazy," Joan Lewis says. "My husband was very, very angry because he felt the police were using brutal force."
Another neighbor, Joey Pappas, shot the video on his cellphone. He says he saw Fulton driving dangerously fast down his street. He believes the officer did nothing wrong.
"A lot of people were saying he used excessive force -- no, he used the right amount of force because she was resisting," Pappas says.
Fulton is facing multiple charges, including reckless driving and fleeing an officer.
News 12 reached out to Suffolk police about their protocol and whether officers followed it in this instance. A spokesman says officers are allowed to use physical force, but only the minimum force necessary and reasonable to control the situation.
The spokesman says the incident is under review.