|Updated: 7/11/2012 9:07 am
||Published: 7/10/2012 6:52 pm
The father of a man roughed up by an Owasso police officer says the family plans to file a federal lawsuit.
FOX23 obtained video from the Owasso Police Department Tuesday of an arrest in 2011 that cost an officer his job.
Last week, that officer, Mike Denton, got his job back.
The video shows the arrest of Bryan Spradlin on June 30, 2011. Three officers responded to a call at an apartment complex about an intoxicated person causing a disturbance. Spradlin had shown up at his ex-wife’s apartment drunk.
Officers say when they attempted to arrest Spradlin he became defensive. The report says officers had to take Spradlin down to the ground to arrest him. However, while they tried to arrest him, he tried to bite one of the officers, Jonathan Foyil, who had to pepper spray Spradlin.
According to the report, a knife was also found in Spradlin’s back pocket. The video also shows the suspect going limp and falling on the concrete stairs leading up to the police department.
The report says during this time Spradlin was carried in and Denton stepped on his head as he shifted Spradlin's body around. Minutes later, Denton elbowed Spradlin in the face three times as Spradlin cursed at the officers.
But Spradlin’s father, Stacie, says that was excessive force and Denton should have never got his job back.
"To try to say he fell upstairs with two men holding him and he goes face first upstairs. That doesn't happen like that," he said.
Denton was fired by the city of Owasso last November. An arbitrator found, in March, that Denton had not used excessive force according to case law.
Stacie can’t believe Denton got his job back after what that video shows. He says he’s taking that fight to federal court.
"By God they're going to talk to me about it, said Spradlin. “I'm going to have my day in court."
"You see the damage they did to his face," he told FOX23.
FOX23 reached Patrick Hunt, Denton’s attorney, by phone Tuesday, who says Bryan Spradlin was the one drunk with a knife.
"You can't draw a conclusion based off five to ten seconds of video tape," said Hunt.
He adds the hits to the face came because Denton thought Spradlin was going to spit on him. He says based on the evidence he believes the arbitrator made a fair ruling.
"Both sides had an opportunity to give their side of the case," Hunt told FOX23.
"Say what they want. Pictures don't lie," said Stacie Spradlin.
Greg Sipes, a Force Science Analyst, was originally assigned to investigate whether Denton used excessive force. His investigation found Denton did use excessive force.
However in evaluating each instance, the arbitrator found that “although the force he used was unreasonable or unnecessary” Denton did not cause any injury to Spradlin.
Court records show Spradlin pleaded guilty after his arrest to public intoxication. The family says their attorney will file a lawsuit in federal court soon.
The Owasso city manager's office says they will speak with city council Tuesday night and determine how they will proceed.