BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– A former sergeant with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has been arrested on charges of third-degree assault and first-degree official misconduct. Christopher Mecca was arrested on Tuesday morning on the charges alleging an assault on an in-custody inmate with a Taser.
Mecca, 51, resigned his employment with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 9 during the disciplinary process in lieu of termination.
According to investigators, Mecca was one of the on-duty supervisors in the jail division of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office just after midnight on Sept. 23. That’s when two Longmont police officers brought in an uncooperative male, a 32-year-old black male from Fayetteville, Arkansas on domestic violence charges.
The inmate was reported to have been physically combative while being placed under arrest by Longmont police officers. He was also intoxicated. During the transport to the jail, the inmate said he was unsure if he would be cooperative with jail deputies when they arrived.
The inmate was compliant until he reached the “pat search area.” When on the pat search mat, he purposely went limp and buckled at the knees, what is believed to be passively resistant.
Mecca instructed deputies to secure the man in a restraint chair. As he was being placed in the chair, the inmate became verbally uncooperative and began spitting at the staff and attempted to bite at least one deputy.
Deputies were able to keep him from spitting by using a spit sock. Mecca then ” drive-stunned the man on his left thigh for five-seconds with a Taser.” That was against sheriff’s office policy and was determined to be an unnecessary and excessive use of force.
Mecca self-reported the incident and was suspended from duty and placed on administrative leave. An internal affairs investigation was launched and Boulder County Sheriff Pelle ordered a criminal investigation.
“I am deeply troubled about the unnecessary force used, as it is contrary to the mission, vision, and values of what the sheriff’s office stands for. While former sergeant Mecca’s underlying motivation isn’t known, the unnecessary application of force on a person of color is especially concerning,” said Pelle in a statement.
According to Boulder County, Mecca was hired by the sheriff’s office in March 2007 as a deputy and was promoted to sergeant in January 2018. He also received several honors during his tenure and has no prior disciplinary record.