A Colorado police department has secured arrest warrants for two of its officers, after a suspect was pistol-whipped during a trespassing call last week.
Aurora Police Officers John Haubert, 39, and Francine Martinez, 40, were the first on the scene for a trespassing call at 2.16 pm Friday near Peoria, where they reportedly encountered three suspects, including Kyle Maurice Vinson, 29.
Two of the suspects ran, authorities said, at which point Haubert forced Vinson to the ground and started choking him, eventually hitting him with the butt of his gun until he bled from his head and started crying.
Vinson was reportedly struck by the pistol about 13 times, and required six stitches, officials announced Tuesday, and he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Haubert has now been charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault, felony menacing, official oppression and official misconduct. He has also been suspended from the police department without pay.
Martinez, meanwhile, is charged with failing her duty to intervene and duty to report use of force. She has been suspended from the department with pay.
Both Haubert and Martinez are now out on bond, Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Aurora, Colorado police officers John Haubert, 39, and Francine Martinez, 40, are facing charges after Haubert was seen on body camera footage pistol whipping a suspect as Martinez failed to intervene
Police Chief Vanessa Wilson announced the charges at a news conference on Tuesday
According to court documents obtained by CBS Denver, upon arriving on the scene Friday, the two officers ordered the three suspects to sit while they tried to run a records check on them.
After Martinez reportedly discovered that they had warrants, two of the suspects ran away.
At that point, Haubert could be seen pushing Vinson to the ground, and demands that he rolls over on his stomach, as Vinson asks: ‘Whoa, what the h*** did I do.’
Soon, Haubert is seen grabbing Vinson by the neck with one hand and pressing the muzzle of his gun on the back of Vinson’s head with the other, ordering him to put his hands out in front of him, as Vinson insists he does not have a warrant.
Haubert could then be seen hitting Vinson with the gun multiple times.
With blood streaking down his face, Vinson could be seen beginning to cry, saying: ‘You’re killing me bro.’
Police body camera footage shows the two officers approaching three men as they were investigating a trespassing call on Friday afternoon
After two of the men fled, Haubert could be seen pushing Kyle Maurice Vinson to the ground
Soon, Haubert is seen grabbing Vinson, 29, by the neck with one hand and pressing the muzzle of his gun on the back of Vinson’s head with the other
He could be heard ordering Vinson to put his hands out in front of him, before hitting him in the head with the muzzle of his gun as Vinson insists he did not do anything
Meanwhile, Haubert once again ordered him to ‘Get over on your face,’ holding him by his sleeve, at which point Vinson insists he did not have a warrant and says ‘I can’t go to jail for something I didn’t do.’
Haubert, though, continued to hold Vinson down, telling him that if he moves, he would shoot him, to which Vinson replies: ‘I didn’t even run.’
He clearly had a large welt on the right side of his head, and as he tried to get up, Haubert grabbed him by the leg and flipped him back onto the ground.
Eventually, a third officer arrives on the scene, and proceeds to handcuff Vinson, as he says: ‘I was just fighting for my life, guys.’
Haubert reportedly held Vinson down and strangled him for a total of 39 seconds before the other officer showed up and struck Vinson with a taser, and he was taken into custody.
He was reportedly unarmed at the time, and police do not believe he had an existing warrant at the time of his arrest.
Vinson pleaded with Haubert to stop as he forces him back on the ground
Haubert reportedly held Vinson down and strangled him for 39 seconds, as Vinson began to lose consciousness
The video clearly shows Vinson with a large welt on the right side of his head
Eventually, a third officer showed up and handcuffed Vinson, taking him into custody and bringing him to a local hospital for treatment
‘This was an anomaly,’ Chief Wilson said at the news conference on Tuesday, adding that she is ‘grateful that Mr. Vinson is alive.’
‘This was not what we trained,’ she said. ‘This was not police work.’
She also said that the department was ‘disgusted’ and ‘angry’ by the use of force displayed in the video, but cautioned against painting ‘this police department with a broad brush.’
‘We are trying to reform,’ Wilson told reporters. ‘We are trying to make a difference.’
In October, Wilson presented the city council with her plan to reform the police department, which included efforts to increase diversity in officer ranks and civilian appointments on critical internal review boards, according to the Colorado Sentinel.
Elijah McClain, 23, was killed by three white police officers in Colorado days after he suffered a heart attack and was declared brain dead following a violent arrest. On August 24, 2019, someone called 911, saying he ‘looked sketchy’ and was wearing a ski mask and waving his arms
The city has also approved an independent auditor to scrutinize police practices, and, Wilson announced on Tuesday, the department will begin new de-escalation training.
‘This is just the beginning,’ she said, with City Manager Jim Twombly adding he has ‘no tolerance for this type of behavior.’
The department has previously come under fire for its use of force, particularly against people of color, including 23-year-old Elijah McClain who suffered a cardiac arrest after police stopped him while he was walking down a street in a ski mask in August 2019.
A 157-page report from an independent commission studying the case concluded in February that the police had no legal basis to stop, frisk or use a hold on McClain.
Paramedics who administered ketamine did so ‘without conducting anything more than a brief visual observation’, the report adds.
It was this ‘flawed’ report from detectives that was used by the Attorney’s Office to clear the officers involved in the arrest of wrongdoing.