Police review suggests McMinnville, Ore. cop used excessive force

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by Kyle Iboshi, KGW.com

KING5.com

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 8:03 PM

MCMINNVILLE, Ore.-- A McMinnville Police Sergeant is facing criticism from within.

An internal police review, obtained by KGW, indicates the sergeant used excessive force in the take down of a suspect and then misrepresented the facts about the case.

The Use of Force Review and dash cam video of the incident are evidence in a pending civil rights lawsuit.

"It was like a mob take-down. It is thuggish. It is not what you would expect from law enforcement," said plaintiff's attorney Leonard Berman.

On February 13, 2010, McMinnville Sgt. Tim Heidt approached a bystander during a DUII investigation and frisked the man.

The internal review indicates, "Heidt did not have probable cause or evidence of a threat that would justify the initial frisk."

Within six seconds, Sgt. Heidt took the man to the ground. The sergeant is seen on police video punching the man in the head repeatedly. Another officer used his knee to strike the man in the face and shoulder.

There were also blows to the ribs, before the man was tasered. 52-year old Hipolito Aranda suffered a broken arm, fractured ribs, cuts and bruises.

"I thought I was going to die," said Aranda. Police charged Aranda with resisting arrest, but a jury later cleared him. "

I did not fight with them. I did nothing," he said.

The internal police report indicates, "There was no visible actions on Hipolito's part that warranted the aggressive take-down used in this situation."

The review also suggested Sgt. Heidt misrepresented the facts. "The poor credibility of his testimony in this case is extremely troubling even if not deceitful."

McMinnville Police confirm Sgt. Heidt is still on duty. He did not reply to requests for comment, nor did his defense attorney.

Other officers and police agencies involved in the case declined to comment because of the pending litigation.

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