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Police: Drunk CU Student Kicked Car, Tried To Strangle Officer

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Matthew Tello (credit: Boulder Co. Sheriff)

Matthew Tello (credit: Boulder Co. Sheriff)

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A college student stopped for allegedly biking under the influence is even more trouble for reportedly trying to strangle a police officer who responded to the emergency call.

A witness told CBS4 he also saw the suspect attack a woman’s car.

The incident happened on Sunday night near the 3200 block of 28th Street and police say Matthew James Tello, 24, a student at the University of Colorado, faces charges in the case.

Michael Tracy, the witness, said he and his father saw Tello with another person riding together on a bike. He said they were shocked when the two people began violently kicking a car in front of them.

“We thought ‘What are we seeing? Is this guy nuts?'” Tracy said.

The two people left, but Tracy said Tello came back to get his wallet and then threatened the woman who was driving the car that he had just damaged.

“At this point we realized this man is very intoxicated. And he started going at her and circling a little bit,” Tracy said.

Tracy and his father then intervened, and shielded the woman until Tello left.

A few blocks away a Boulder police officer located Tello.

“She identified herself as a police officer and she told him to sit down. He became very combative with her. He was verbally abusive with her and he began to fight with her and at one point he was actually strangling her,” Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel said.

The officer emergency button on her pack and told the suspect that if he didn’t let go of her neck she would shoot him, according to Kobel. Another officer then arrived.

“All three of them fell on the ground and that’s when they were able to subdue Matthew Tello,” Kobel said.

Police said Tello had slurred speech and repeatedly demanded to know what was going on. He then allegedly said “I’m drunk, it’s my birthday.”

“I was just shocked, didn’t know what to think,” said Tracy. “Someone who’s going to strangle a cop, what would have they done to (the driver) or someone else?”

The officer wound up with some bruises and scratches but is expected to be OK.

Tello faces a number of charges including suspicion of first degree assault, felony menacing, and DUI. He was being held in the Boulder County Jail on Tuesday.

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