Fort Collins officer caught on video pushing man

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Fort Collins Police officer pushes man

Image from the video uploaded to YouTube on March 25, 2012.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Police in Fort Collins are investigating an incident where an officer was captured on home video pushing a man, seemingly unprovoked.

The video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday, shows the officer shouting “Step back!” as he firmly stiff-arms Matthew Hefferson, 24, from Loveland who appears to be calmly talking to him.

Another officer then intervenes, grabbing the man and placing him under arrest.

Fort Collins Police say the incident started when the operator of a downtown pedicab service notified officers that a group of young men had damaged one of his bikes.

Hefferson was cited for Criminal Mischief and Obstructing a Peace Officer. Two of his friends were also cited.

“The video that we have seen is about (a minute long) and is a small percentage of the encounter,” said Fort Collins Police Chief John Hutto at a news conference Monday afternoon. “So I think it’s important to put things in context and not jump to any conclusions about the actions that led up to the event, or the actions post-video taken by either the officers or the suspects.”

Hutto said his department’s Internal Affairs unit is investigating the case.

Watch the video here: