DALLAS, Texas (WFAA) — Police officer Terigi Rossi, who formerly appeared on a reality TV show about Dallas cops, was caught on camera making abusive statements toward a 14-year old boy. In the video, Rossi uses profanity and threatens to break the boy’s neck. After putting his mother in handcuffs, he called the boy a “piece of f**king s**t [just like your mother.]” In a statement, Rossi said he was using “verbal judo” and that threatening to break his neck was a “verbal technique that I’ve used to try to calm down people or suspects in my career with no intention of ever meaning the words I say.” The bullied teen captured the encounter on his cellphone.
He also says Rossi put his hands around this throat, threatening to strangle him. Rossi said he did it to console the boy. Parts of the video were broadcast on WFAA Dallas.
Before the confrontation, which occurred last fall, Rossi had been a cast member on the reality TV show Dallas SWAT, which “follows the action-packed, high-stress line of work and the elite team of law enforcement officers that make up the Dallas SWAT team.” Rossi was fired from his SWAT position, and subsequently from the show, for falling asleep on the job.
The show’s website offers this bio of Officer Rossi:
“A 10-year member of the Dallas SWAT team, 38-year-old Officer Terigi Rossi is a tireless worker. As one of the gas and less lethal specialists on the team, Officer Rossi is always on the go. Married and a father of two, Officer Rossi not only works on the SWAT team, but he also works countless extra hours as a security officer, to supplement his family’s income. Originally from Boston, he is also a trained boxer.”
“I’ll break your f***ing neck!”
The October incident occurred when Rossi and his partner responded to a 911 hang-up call. When they arrived at the residence the call originated from, officers initially found nobody home. After trying multiple times to contact somebody inside, a woman finally answered the door. She was the 14-year old boy’s step mother. Rossi’s partner said the woman told them she called 911 because her vehicle had been towed, but hung up because she thought the conversation with the 911 operator was over.
Rossi claimed the woman spoke to the boy in Spanish, telling him to “shut up”, at which point he barged into the residence and put the woman in handcuffs. The boy, confused, followed Rossi outside.
“I need to know what happened here because right now, she’s going to jail.” Rossi said. The boy insisted nothing happened, and that his step-mother was actually telling Rossi to shut up. Shortly afterward, the officer launched into a profanity-laden tirade against the boy, at various times telling him to “shut the f**k up” and calling him a “f**king piece of s**t”, ultimately warning the boy that he would “break your f**king neck. Do you understand?”
After the video surfaced, Rossi was given a three-day suspension from the force.
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