LOVELAND, Colo. — Loveland Police on Friday released body camera footage showing an officer punching a woman in the face after that woman spat in the officer's face at a hospital.
While Chief Tim Doran condemned the officer's action, who was immediately put on leave and then fire, he said there were some positive moments in the video.
"The kindness displayed in the first minutes of the encounter when the officers simply offered a courtesy ride home to a woman who could not even recall where she lived," Doran said. "The officers were verbally harassed by excessive profanity and periodic racial slurs and exhibited prolonged professionalism and patience."
Doran issued a video statement along with the body camera video and encouraged everyone to watch the video in its entirety.
Around 8:30 p.m. May 21, Loveland Police officers responded to reports of a woman wandering in and out of traffic and speaking incoherently in the area of North Garfield Avenue and East 29th Street.
Officers placed the woman into protective custody and took her to the Medical Center of the Rockies for additional evaluation. As soon as the woman was taken out of the patrol car at the hospital, she began cussing at the officers as they walked her inside, the video shows.
>RAW FOOTAGE: Watch the body camera footage below.
Once inside the hospital, the officer, identified as Russell Maranto, 28, asked whether she wanted to sit down and told her he was going to have to take a piece of paper that she was holding in her hands.
The handcuffed woman was escorted to an examination room. Once she was seated, Maranto took the piece of paper from her hands, which appeared to anger the woman, the video shows.
As that happened, Maranto explained there was a hospital policy related to belongings and said they were "trying to help her."
As the situation escalated, the woman spat at a nurse and it landed on the floor. A nurse said she would not tolerate the behavior and said to "step out." She and another employee left the room, the video shows.
Maranto again told the woman, "These people are here to help you."
The other officer in the room asked the woman to talk to him instead, if she didn't like Maranto, and then is heard in the video saying, "Don't spit."
A second later, the woman spit toward the face of Maranto, and he reacted by punching her in the face. The other officer later said the spit hit Maranto in his chest area.
The other officer pulled Maranto away from the woman and told him to step outside, then radioed for a supervisor to respond to the hospital, the video shows.
The woman continued to yell at the officer, who again told her not to spit and that if she did it again, he would put a spit mask on her, which he eventually did.
The 59-year-old woman was medically cleared and taken to the Larimer County jail on charges related to her actions at the hospital.
Maranto was placed on leave the night of the incident and terminated a few days later, according to Loveland Police.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation into Maranto's actions. With the completion of that investigation, Loveland's police chief released the video footage.
The Larimer County District Attorney's Office has not yet made a decision about potential charges for Maranto.
According to Loveland Police, Maranto was hired to work there in June 2022 and had previously worked at the Montrose Police Department and Wyoming Department of Corrections.
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