By Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4)– CBS4 has learned that Denver Police Corporal Michael Oestmann has been charged with third-degree assault for allegedly kneeing, punching and knocking out a handcuffed suspect last month.
Oestmann has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. He was most recently assigned to District 5.
Investigative documents obtained by CBS4 show Oestmann was working off duty at a downtown bar on April 14. Oestmann detained a suspect involved in an assault inside the bar. The man was seated in a chair with his hands handcuffed behind his back, according to a probable cause statement.
The statement reads, “For about ten minutes… (the suspect) berated and insulted Cpl. Oestman until the point (suspect) spit upon Oestman, striking him in the face with saliva. Cpl. Oestman responded by kneeing (the suspect) in the chest, and punching him in the face, knocking him unconscious.”
Investigators say the incident was captured on both Oestmann’s body worn camera and a surveillance camera at the bar.
The victim was transported to Denver Health Medical Center and treated for cuts to his face.
Oestmann was charged with third-degree assault last week. He was placed on leave the next day. The charge is a misdemeanor. The 38-year-old officer, who is described as 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, is due in court June 4. He has been with the Denver Police Department since 2005.
Mary Dulacki, records coordinator for Denver’s Department of Public Safety, declined a CBS4 request for video of the incident, writing, “The video is evidence in a pending criminal case and in the interests of respecting the judicial process we are declining to release it at this time.”
In 2009, Oestmann was involved in a fatal shooting of an armed man who pointed a gun at Oestmann and a second officer. The Denver District Attorney cleared both officers in the case and ruled the shooting was justified.