Sheriff: Force used on disabled man was reasonable
March 31, 2012
GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — The Weld County sheriff says a deputy who tackled a developmentally disabled man, whom he mistakenly thought was a suspect in an armed robbery, used reasonable force.
Sheriff’s officials say the deputy had spotted 24-year-old Manuel Chavez walking to a park shortly after a store robbery on Feb. 22.
The deputy ordered Chavez to take his hand out of his pocket, not knowing Chavez was developmentally disabled. Chavez was scared and began running home.
The deputy pursued him, knocked him to the ground and handcuffed him. The deputy and Chavez were injured. Chavez wasn’t connected to the robbery.
The Greeley Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/GYsCPe ) that in a written statement Friday, Sheriff John Cooke said the injuries were unfortunate, but what occurred was reasonable under the circumstances.