WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Two Weld County deputies were fired and one has resigned after an investigation into an alleged assault on a suspect.
The Weld County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the incident occurred Oct. 18, when a suspect was being held in an interview room at the sheriff’s office for the Loveland Police Department. The sheriff’s office did not say which crime the suspect was accused of committing.
“While deputies were attempting to restrain the suspect, he resisted deputies, refusing to follow verbal commands. Deputy Paul Saunders punched the suspect in the back of the head during this process; a technique that is neither instructed nor approved by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
The incident was captured on video released by the sheriff’s office Wednesday:
Saunders had been employed by the sheriff’s office since June 2019 and was still in training.
The sheriff’s office says it immediately launched an internal investigation. Saunders was terminated and charged with third-degree assault.
Two other sheriff’s office employees were involved: Deputy Todd Deutsch and Sgt. Scott Holmen.
Deutsch resigned. Holmen was fired as a result of the investigation. Both worked for the sheriff’s office for 15 years.
“The Weld County Sheriff’s Office recognizes and respects the value of each human life that deputies encounter at every call for service. The actions of these deputies were outside the scope of their assigned duties and undermine the Sheriff’s Office mission; to provide effective public safety services with honor and integrity,” the sheriff’s office said.
While the internal investigation has concluded, a criminal one into the incident remains ongoing.
Anyone with information about the alleged assault is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at: 970-356-4015. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-8477.