Fort Collins police reviewing video of arrest

7:21 PM, Mar 26, 2012   |    comments
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The video posted by the user "Jade Cervantes" shows a man talking to an officer, who appears to suddenly shove him backward. Another officer, Kyle Bendzsa, then grabs the man and puts him into handcuffs.

People talking in the video can be heard saying the man was shoved by the officer without provocation. The person who posted the video couldn't be immediately reached.

"We don't want to jump to conclusions. But I want to assure the public that we will look carefully at what took place in the video and get a clear picture about what happened," said police spokesman Sgt. Jon Holsten, who also runs Internal Affairs. "The chief has ordered a review of the video and asked us to get to the bottom of it."

Holsten said officers investigating the video are still trying to determine when the video was shot, the identity of the man involved, and what happened before and after the video was shot. He said police have received no formal complaints about the incident.

The following people were cited in connection with the incident:

> Matthew Robert Hefferon
Charges: Criminal Mischief and Obstructing a Peace Officer (Cited and Released)

>Joshua Michael Cullip
Charges: Interference (Cited and Released)

> Jarvis Lukeith Gullatt
Charges: Obstructing a Peace Officer (Cited and Released)

The Fort Collins Police officers involved in the incident are identified as Officer Kyle Bendzsa and Officer Dan Calahan.

The man shown on video being shoved says he did nothing to provoke the officer.

Matt Hefferon, 24, of Loveland was ticketed for criminal mischief and obstructing in connection with the incident that his friends caught partially on video.

Hefferon said he and two friends were out drinking at Wall Street on Linden Street and decided to take a pedi-cab from the square to their car.

He said they all jumped on the two-seat trike and it flipped, breaking a rear reflector. Hefferon said officers told him he could pay for the damage on the spot or receive a ticket.

Hefferon said he was trying to explain why he couldn't pay right away when Calahan began to yell at him to step back.

"I was just standing there talking, explaining. And all of a sudden he just snaps," Hefferon said in an interview with the Coloradoan. "He just unloaded into my chest."

The video shows Calahan shoving Hefferon back, and then Bendzsa grabs Hefferon and the two officers take him into custody.

Hefferon has made a formal complaint to Fort Collins Police Services.

In a press conference Monday afternoon, Hutto asked the public to withhold judgment until the investigation is complete.

"It's important to put this in the proper context and not to jump to any conclusions," Hutto said. "But it obviously raises questions."

(Copyright © 2012 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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