IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A former Idaho Springs police officer who accepted a plea deal in a case against him for assaulting a 75-year-old man received two years of supervised probation Thursday.
Nicholas Hanning also received 120 days of electronic home monitoring and 150 hours of public service. The judge said the COVID pandemic played a role in the decision.
Hanning pleaded guilty to a third-degree assault misdemeanor last month after initially being charged with a felony assault charge.
The plea agreement stemmed from a case involving body camera video that showed Hanning using his stun gun on 75-year-old Michael Clark without warning after Clark opened his door. He lost his balance, fell and hit his head on a dining room chair after being Tased.
Hanning and his partner, Ellie Summers, were called to Clark’s apartment complex on May 30, 2021, after a neighbor reported that he had punched her. The neighbor, who appears to be drunk in the bodycam video, told the officers Clark punched her because she was too loud and he was trying to sleep.
Lawsuit filed by Clark against Hanning
Clark remains hospitalized after suffering multiple seizures and a stroke a day after the incident. He has been hospitalized since and objected to the plea deal from his hospital bed last month.
He objected to the plea deal in a video from his hospital bed and told the judge he deserved justice, which would include more than a misdemeanor charge.
Attorney Sarah Schielke, who has filed a civil lawsuit against Hanning and the Idaho Springs Police Department, said the family provided a note from Clark’s doctor saying he suffered “serious bodily injury,” the legal threshold for felony assault.
What happened after the assault?
Hanning was fired by the Idaho Springs Police Department in July and agreed to give up his peace officer training certification in October, which means he can never serve as an officer in the state of Colorado again.
Summers resigned after receiving a reprimand in the use-of-force incident against Clark, but it wasn’t her first complaint. She has been featured in two other Problem Solvers stories for pointing her gun at a woman’s dog and stopping a deaf man for running a stop sign and using a Taser on him.
Clark’s family filed a motion to have the district attorney removed from the case after she said she felt the plea deal was appropriate and replaced by a special prosecutor, but that motion was rejected.