BURLINGTON, Vt. — A police officer was following his training when he struck an assault suspect lying on the ground multiple times in an attempt to free his hands so he could be taken into custody, authorities said.

Police on Monday released their version of events that occurred early Sunday in downtown Burlington after officers said they tried to arrest a man they saw assault someone.

A 38-second video of a portion of the incident was posted online Sunday.

The incident began when Officers Ryan Rabideau and Ethan Czyzewski responded to a report of someone climbing a telephone pole. On the way, they said, they saw Shane Langevin assault another person.

Langevin, of Winooski, resisted arrest and was shocked with a stun gun while officers tried to take him into custody, police said. While he was on the ground, officers couldn’t secure his hands because he was on his stomach, they said.

“Officers delivered several strikes to Langevin’s back in an effort to get him to free his hands,” Burlington police said in a news release. “These strikes are consistent with officer training and are referred to as ‘distractionary strikes’ done in hopes of distracting or stunning someone to assist in gaining control.”

While officers were struggling with Langevin, the second suspect, Michael Mazza, approached the officers with clenched fists, police said. An officer used pepper spray to keep him away, they said.