ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- According to a source familiar with the process, the Adams County District Attorney will ask a grand jury to consider criminally indicting a sheriff’s deputy who was caught on camera kicking an innocent man outside a Denver bar.
A FOX31 Denver investigation first revealed that deputy Jeffery L. Stovall failed to mention taking a running kick at 31-year-old Alejandro Resendiz during a violent arrest outside Karely’s at West 70th Avenue and Pecos Street in May.
That oversight became a serious issue after FOX31 Problem Solvers revealed security camera footage of the event. The 15-year veteran Stovall remains employed by the sheriff’s office “in a position that doesn’t require public contact” as an internal investigation continues.
In addition, FOX31 Problem Solvers have learned that Adams County District Attorney Dave Young will present evidence to a secret grand jury that Stovall committed a felony the night Resendiz was arrested.
Kicking deputy has disciplinary history
This is not the first time Stovall has been in trouble while on-the-job. Under the Open Records Act, FOX31 Denver asked the sheriff’s office for Stovall’s discipline history, but the request was denied citing the “records weren't in the public interest.”
However, Stovall was recently questioned under oath for a deposition in a federal civil lawsuit that accused him and other Adam’s County deputies of, among other things, excessive force.
During his questioning, he listed his own history of the incidents in which he hd been investigated for alleged wrongdoing.
In 2013, Stovall was criminally investigated but cleared for accidentally discharging his M16 rifle three times -- shooting a drug suspect in the leg.
Stovall also admitted in court that he had lost about 80 hours in pay for various policy violations including:
- A suspension for punching a suspect in the head
- Unprofessionalism for putting pepper spray inside an inmate's coffee
- Letter(s) of reprimand for shooting his own fingers off during a training accident
- Letter of reprimand for driving violations
Additionally, he self-reported that he had been removed from positions in SWAT, a drug task force and as a training officer.
Deputy named in ongoing civil rights suit
Jeffrey Hulse and his wife Kelly McCain are suing the Adams County Sheriff`s Office and Stovall for two April 2013 incidents.
According to federal lawsuit documents and Hulse’s testimony, Stovall came into the couple’s bedroom in the middle of the night without a warrant after erroneously believing Hulse had fired a gun in the neighborhood.
“(Stovall) came in and slammed the bedroom light on and approached me with his duty weapon drawn, shoved it very firmly into the back of my head and told me don't move. Never identified himself as anybody," Jeffrey Hulse said.
Stovall reportedly left the house and returned later with reinforcements. Kelly McCain recorded part of the second encounter on her cellphone.
It shows Hulse cooperating with his hands up while asking if the deputies had a warrant. Telling him “no,” the deputies yanked Hulse out the front door and into the yard. Hulse said this is where he was roughed up, chipping a tooth.
“I got both my hands up the whole time,” Hulse said. “I'm trying to talk to them and getting punched in the chest, double-fisted, and grabbed and pulled and thrown to the ground much like (Kelly) did. (I had) at least two deputies on my back, one wailing on me.”
But Stovall was not one of those hitting Hulse the second time the deputies came to his home because he is seen and heard on video ordering McCain to stop recording her husband’s arrest. Video shows Stovall putting his flashlight into the lens and telling her to sit down inside the house.
McCain hopes the Adams County Sheriff’s Office will finally take the discipline of Stovall seriously.
“If it was just a citizen that did these things, they'd be under arrest," McCain said. "They'd be serving time in prison. I would at least like to see him lose his job, if not more. We've come forward and this other gentlemen came forward (Resendiz). How many haven't? How many people has this been done to and got away with it?”
Hulse, whose father was a longtime law enforcement officer, agrees.
“To start with, he should be terminated and I would really like to see him criminally prosecuted," he said. "I think these are criminal acts he’s committing under the color of authority.”
Since 2005, records show Adams County has paid $401,500 to settle seven excessive force complaints against the sheriff's office and its employees.
That does not include the ongoing case for Hulse and McCain nor the one that will likely be filed in the coming months against Stovall and other deputies on scene by Resendiz.
“Although we appreciate your inquiry, the case you mentioned is an ongoing active investigation and we cannot discuss its progress," Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh said in a statement last month about Stovall. "All citizens including employees of the Adams County Sheriff`s Office have a right to due process, therefore details involving this case and personnel matters remain confidential.”