Jury acquits Denver officer charged with assault

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DENVER — A jury acquitted a Denver Police Department officer who was charged with assault. Denver District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Carolyn Tyler confirmed the acquittal Wednesday afternoon.

Sgt. Joseph Rodarte, 51, was charged with one count of second-degree assault stemming from an incident that occurred in August 2018.

According to the arrest affidavit, Denver officers were searching the 2200 block of South Jason Street after neighbors called 911 saying a “male was chasing another male with a gun” and had been yelling obscenities.

Court documents stated that “Rodarte contacted witnesses to the event and aired there were no charges on the suspect and he was apparently having a manic episode.”

As the teenage suspect was running from police, an officer managed to trip him. Rodarte was accused of approaching the teen and hitting him with his baton six times.

The affidavit states the victim suffered “a laceration above his right eye that required sutures, fractured nasal bones, a fractured right tibia, and a fractured right fibula.”

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