Felix Rivera-Pitre, a demonstrator with “Occupy Wall Street,” withstood a dramatic assault by a New York police officer on Friday morning during a march with thousands of others.
Captured on video, the attack appears to have been unprovoked, and Pitre claims the blow he received ripped one of his earrings out, drawing blood. He’s also HIV positive, and he told Gothamist that the officer who hit him should get tested following the incident.
In an interview later that day with The Street, Pitre said he did nothing to provoke the attack aside from walking in the street with other demonstrators.
“I hit the ground,” he said. “It was confusing at the moment. I remember being dragged. I was not sure what was happening, I was still trying to recover, trying to get my strength, and I feel I was being dragged. And I heard the crowd chanting behind me, ‘Save him! Save him!’ And there, I was aware the cops were pulling my legs, the crowd was pulling my arms. Somehow they managed to get me free.”
Police said 14 people were arrested Friday morning.
This video is from The Street, published Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.