An Aurora police officer beat a man with his duty pistol, choked him and threatened to kill him even though the man never attempted to hurt or threaten the officer, investigators allege in newly released court documents.
Aurora police Officer John Haubert faces three felony charges — attempted first-degree assault,
second-degree assault, and felony menacing — as well as misdemeanor charges of official oppression and official misconduct in connection to the violent arrest on Friday.
A second officer at the scene, Francine Martinez, faces criminal charges for not intervening in Haubert’s use of force.
The two officers have turned themselves in.
The arrest affidavits for the two officers describe a violent arrest of a man wanted on a warrant who did not attack or flee. The affidavits, written by an Aurora police homicide detective, describe the incident as captured on officers’ body cameras.
Haubert and Martinez were dispatched at 2:16 p.m. Friday on a report of a person trespassing. and contacted three people, the affidavits state.
After Martinez learned that the three people had felony warrants, the officers tried to take them into custody. Two of the men ran away.
Haubert drew his pistol and pointed it at the third suspect, even though he had his hands up and had not fled or shown any signs of physical resistance, according to the affidavits. The man rolled over as commanded and Haubert grabbed the back of his neck and pressed the muzzle of his gun at the man’s head, according to the affidavits.
Haubert then tried to handcuff the man, who denied he had a warrant and tried to avoid the handcuffs. Haubert climbed on top of him and grabbed the side of the man’s neck, according to the court records. Haubert then struck the man in the head with his gun at least seven times while telling him to lie on his stomach, according to the affidavits.
The man repeatedly told Haubert “you’re killing me,” according to the affidavits. Haubert then grabbed the man from the front of his neck and forced him to the ground and choked him until he had trouble speaking, the affidavits state.
“If you move, I will shoot you,” Haubert told the man, according to the affidavit.
The man “was not striking, punching or kicking Officer Haubert” and was not making any life-threatening actions toward the officers, the affidavits state.
The man began to lose consciousness during the 39-second strangulation and started to cry.
Two other officers arrived on scene and one of them, Officer Michael Dieck, used his Taser on the man.
The suspect was hospitalized after his arrest with visible injuries to his head. He had to have stitches to close some of the wounds on his head.
Body camera footage captured Haubert talking to a sergeant after the violent arrest and stating, “I was going to shoot him but I didn’t know if I had a round in it or not.” Haubert also said all the blood on the man was from him “pistol-whipping him,” the affidavits state.
Neither Haubert nor Martinez were interviewed prior to their arrest because they requested to speak to their attorneys first, the affidavits state.
Aurora police Chief Vanessa Wilson is expected to address the incident at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. The department announced the issuance of the officers’ arrest warrants Monday night.
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