Berthoud police officer at center of domestic violence scandal fired
BERTHOUD, Colo. — A Berthoud Police officer who was suspended after his ex-girlfriend claims she sent a video of him striking a child to law enforcement has now been fired.
In a four page affidavit, the Larimer County District Attorney says the man in the video is Officer Jeremy Yachik and they’ve charged him with four counts of child abuse and one count of false imprisonment.
Berthoud town manager Mike Hart confirmed that Yachik, 35, was indeed terminated by the Berthoud Police Department one week ago Friday, two days after being arrested at his home in Loveland.
The accuser’s video tape was first seen on FOX31 Denver News earlier in October.
On Sept. 24, Loveland Police received an email outlining child abuse allegations that Yachik had physically abused a juvenile over the last several months.
Loveland Police conducted an investigation and were granted an arrest warrant for Yachik on Tuesday. He was arrested Wednesday and taken to the Loveland Police Department where he posted bond and was later released.
A woman who says the officer is her ex-boyfriend sent the video to law enforcement officials and claims they did nothing. As a result, the police chief in Berthoud was also on leave.
In addition to the alleged criminal acts seen in the video, the affidavit for Yachik’s arrest describes alleged past crimes.
It states, “[the victim] reports having her hands bound to her back with plastic zip ties and being secluded in the laundry room of the home.” It also refers to the victim being “forced to eat ghost pepper sauce,” and “slammed [the victim’s head into the wall].”
The affidavit says police interviewed Jeremy Yachik and they wrote, “Jeremy admits he’s the one depicted in the video and admitted to the acts disclosed by the victim.”
It also details more trouble for the Berthoud police department. The question is whether the chief ignored the video when he received it in April.
The affidavit states, “In Chief Johnson’s office, evidence was collected that corroborated [the victim's] account of attempting to report this incident to [the Chief].”
Court documents in a separate case detailed more information about the accuser and the officer who is suspended. The paperwork is about a domestic violence incident that happened in March.
People in Berthoud who defend the officer say it’s that incident that led to the release of the video tape.
The court documents say Loveland police were called to the couple’s home when the Berthoud officer called to complain that his now ex-girlfriend assaulted him and was upstairs threatening suicide.
One month after the woman was charged with domestic violence, she says she sent the video that allegedly shows the officer hitting and kicking his child to the Berthoud police chief. She now accuses him of a cover up.
When police arrived at the home that day in March, investigating officers noted the man had “…Dried blood and scratches on the right side of his face.”
They also said the couple’s child had “evidence of a yellowish mark… that could have been from an old bruise.”
FOX31 Denver verified the child referred to in the court documents was not the alleged victim in the video sent to Berthoud police.
One resident we spoke to was surprised about the allegations against the officer.
Other court documents FOX31 Denver uncovered show information about an alleged fight the suspended officer had with another Berthoud officer in 2011.
The report says, “[The officer] displays threatening and violent behavior towards officers.”
Once incident is described where “[the officer] came within five inches of another officer’s face. His fists were clenched.” The writer goes on, “In all my years in law enforcement, I have never seen this type of aggressive action from one officer to another.”
The accuser in the current case faces three separate counts of domestic violence for the incident in March. They include assault and obstruction of telephone service.
She is scheduled to go on trial in December.