VANCOUVER -- A police officer driving near Commercial Drive in Vancouver knocked a cyclist off his bicycle with the car, and forcefully arrested the man early Wednesday morning, witnesses say.

David Mattatall and a friend started recording on their iPhones midway through the incident, which shows two plainclothes officers wrestling with a man next to a police car, the man's bicycle and backpack on the ground next to them.

"I don't know what that man did, I don't really care," Mattatall told CTV News Wednesday morning. "It totally doesn't justify speeding your car to run them down at night."

In an emailed statement, Vancouver Police Sgt. Aaron Roed said officers were attempting to stop the cyclist for a bylaw infraction.

"Officers instructed the bicyclist to stop. After officers identified themselves, the cyclist then ignored the commands and tried to flee from police," Roed said.

"The cyclist was stopped a short distance later at which time he began to fight with the officers. During the arrest of the accused male, he punched the officer in the face multiple times and jumped into the driver's seat of the police vehicle. The man tried to steal the police car and revved the engine in an attempt to get away."

Roed said the man was taken into custody "after a struggle." Police recommended the following charges to Crown against the 35-year-old: obstructing a police officer, failure to comply with a release order, assaulting a peace officer, theft of a motor vehicle and flight from police.

Mattatall says he was talking with a friend at 6th Avenue and Grandview Highway just after midnight when they saw a police car heading north on Woodland Drive.

The driver of the police car appeared to notice a cyclist on the sidewalk of Grandview Highway, which crosses to 6th Avenue, going east, he said.

That's when the car turned on its lights and sirens, knocked into the bicycle twice from the side, and then collided with the bicycle at a faster speed, knocking the cyclist onto the street, he said.

That's when Mattatall and his friend started recording video with their cellphones. The video shows two officers who appear to be in plainclothes grappling with the cyclist.

The man gets up and the pair push him into the driver's seat of the police car.

"Out of the car, asshole," one of them yells. The horn blares and it sounds like the car's engine revs.

More police officers arrive. One of them yells "Taser" and the weapon discharges. The man is pulled out of the vehicle onto the ground.

"You guys hit me with your car!" the man yells. "Hands behind your back!" the officer says. "OK. I can't breathe," he says.

Mattatall yells for the officer to get his knee off his neck, and one officer denies that his knee is on his neck.

"You ran over a dude and you're now on his neck," Mattatall says, asking one of the new officers who showed up on the scene to arrest the police car's driver.

"That's not how this works," the officer says. "You don't care about the law?" Mattatall responds.

Police are allowed to use reasonable force to do their duties, and can also use force in self-defence. But if the force isn't reasonable, officers can face discipline under the Police Act and also could face criminal charges.

Woodland Drive is a bike route and Grandview Highway has a bike lane at that intersection.