At the very least, Roderick King said, he thought he was in for a beating.
It was after 2 a.m. on March 31, 2013, King recalled during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, and he was in Center City, handcuffed in the rear of a Philadelphia police SUV.
The officer, apparently incensed because one of King's friends had accused him of making an illegal turn, put King in the SUV and drove him to a dark alley in North Philadelphia.
"It was just him and me," said King. "I was very scared."
Though King said the officer never gave his name, he turned out to be Kevin Corcoran, 33, a nine-year veteran of the force with a history of complaints for using excessive force.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Bonner argued that Corcoran lost his temper and became "a bully with a badge."
"He didn't even go after the person who made the comment to him," Bonner added.
Corcoran, who was fired after the incident, never filed paperwork documenting what happened.
The hearing ended with Municipal Court Judge David C. Shuter ordering Corcoran to stand trial on charges of false imprisonment, obstruction of administration of law, and official oppression.
Defense attorney Fortunato N. Perri Jr. asked Shuter to dismiss the charges, saying Corcoran was on duty, alone, and suddenly in a hostile situation involving three men and a woman.
Perri argued that testimony by King and friend Brian Jackson minimized their roles: "He's a working police officer. There's some kind of confrontation that sets this off. This isn't a one-sided raging bull type of incident."
King, an Iraq war veteran of the Air Force from Lansdale, testified that he went to McGillin's Olde Ale House in Center City to meet three friends: Jackson, Tom Stenberg, and Sara Tice.
The four were walking to Stenberg's house, King said, and were at 13th and Lombard Streets when a police SUV made an illegal left turn.
Jackson said the SUV almost hit them and Stenberg yelled, "That officer made an illegal left turn."
Jackson said Corcoran drove around the corner and came toward them, swearing, as they reached 13th and Rodman Street.
King said the officer got out of the SUV and angrily confronted Stenberg. When he and Jackson took out cellphones to record the incident, King said Corcoran turned on them and smacked the phones out of their hands.
King testified that Corcoran kept pushing him in the chest, yelling: "Don't you touch me."
When he said he was "not doing anything" and Corcoran was "going above and beyond," King said Corcoran spun him around, cuffed him, pushed him into the SUV, and drove off.
Corcoran never told him he was under arrest or why he was in custody and refused to give his name, King testified.
King said Corcoran drove several blocks north on Broad Street before turning into a dark alley and stopping the SUV.
After telling the officer he was a veteran, King said, Corcoran suddenly replied: "Do you want to go back to your [expletive] friends?"
Corcoran then drove back to 13th and Rodman, where King's friends were waiting.
Jackson testified that after releasing King, Corcoran told him "to calm down."
"He said, 'I'm a little stressed out, I was just trying to get home safe,' " Jackson testified.