NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The man who shot a video of a fatal police chokehold has been arrested on a gun charge, police said.
Ramsey Orta, 22, was arrested Saturday night on Staten Island on a charge of criminal possession of a firearm, an NYPD spokesman said.
Orta shot the video of an officer using a choke hold to restrain Eric Garner on July 17. Garner died shortly after.
Police say an unloaded semi-automatic weapon was recovered from Orta. It was reported stolen in Michigan in 2007.
Sources tell 1010 WINS that Orta said, “You’re mad because I filmed your boy,” during his arrest.
The NYPD says officers did not know he was the same person until he said that.
They say Orta is in a hospital being treated for a medical condition. Orta’s mother, Emily Mercado, said her son is on suicide watch at Richmond University Hospital.
She said she is proud her son recorded Garner’s arrest.
“It was something that needed to be shown. People needed to see. I’m glad he was the one who did it,” Mercado said.
Orta’s mother also said officers have been following her son since Garner’s arrest.
It wasn’t clear if Orta had a lawyer.
Sources tell 1010 WINS Orta’s prior arrests include armed robbery, illegal gun possession, threatening to kill someone, numerous assaults, turnstile jumping and drugs.
“He’s not perfect and he’s not an angel, but he’s not out here doing what they’re trying to portray him to be,” Orta’s wife Chrissie Ortiz said.
Rev. Al Sharpton said Orta’s arrest supports his call for the federal government to take over the case. Rev. Sharpton also said this is because the Staten Island district attorney shouldn’t be in the position of prosecuting someone who may be a witness in the Garner case, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.