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Publish Date: 8/24/2005

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David Malveaux issued a complaint Tuesday against The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office alleging sheriff’s deputies used excessive force in affecting his arrest for obstruction during a high-risk car stop Saturday. Malveaux has a black eye and bruising behind his left ear as well as bruises on his side, all of which he claims were from Boulder County sheriff's deputies punching and kicking him.Times-Call/Erin McCracken

Boulder County sheriff’s deputies accused of assault


BOULDER — The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Boulder man’s accusation that law-enforcement officers beat him up early Saturday, the office said Tuesday.

David Malveaux, 24, said officers pulled him out of a car and started punching and kicking him during a felony stop in his driveway at 3375 75th St. He did nothing to provoke the attack, he said.

“When the cops have their guns drawn, the last thing I’m going to do is swing at them,” said Malveaux, who said he is 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. “If I would’ve got out of the car swinging, they probably would’ve shot me.”

Lt. Phil West of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said Malveaux was cursing at officers and not complying with their orders.

The department’s personnel sergeant will conduct the investigation, which West expects to take four or five weeks. Sheriff Joe Pelle will then determine if the complaint is founded or unfounded, and what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken, West said.

Tuesday evening — nearly 90 hours after the incident — Malveaux still sported a black eye and other bruises. Pictures he said he took Saturday showed swelling, cuts and bruises on his face, head and torso.

“I was yelling at them,” Malveaux admitted Tuesday. “I wasn’t being the best person, but I never got physical with them.” He said the officers started cursing first, even cursing at Malveaux’s mother when she came out of the house to see what was happening.

Malveaux stuck his hands out the window as requested, he said, and an officer pulled his right arm and twisted it behind him as the officer pulled him out of the car.

“It just happened so fast. I was on the ground like that,” Malveaux said, snapping his fingers. The officers began punching him and one used a Taser to shock him, Malveaux said. He said he was hit in his eye and behind his ear, and kicked in the ribs.

The sheriff’s report, which includes information from three deputies involved in the incident, details a struggle between Malveaux and the officers that started in the car and continued until Malveaux was handcuffed.

The sheriff’s report said Malveaux ignored orders from Deputy Drake Clark to exit the car. Clark grabbed Malveaux’s right arm and pulled it into a “twist lock.” As Clark pulled Malveaux out of the car, Malveaux “swung at least three times with his left fist toward Deputy Clark,” wrote Deputy Kristopher Jakobsson in a sheriff’s report.

Clark’s report also stated that Malveaux tried to punch him as he tried to get Malveaux out of the car.

A Lafayette officer, whose full name is not in the report, then helped Clark pull Malveaux out of the car, Jakobsson wrote. Malveaux continued to struggle, and Clark “delivered four palm strikes to David’s facial area,” Jakobsson wrote. Clark wrote that he slapped Malveaux “to distract him long enough to gain control of his arms.”

“David continued to struggle and I deployed my Taser darts in David’s left lower back. David then went to the ground and pulled his arms under his body,” Jakobsson wrote.

Clark became concerned that Malveaux had a weapon in his waistband, and considered it “imperative” that Malveaux’s hands be behind his back, Clark wrote. Clark slapped Malveaux three more times because he would not put his hands behind his back, then Jakobsson used the Taser directly on Malveaux’s back, both deputies wrote. The deputies then were able to handcuff Malveaux and take him to the jail.

Malveaux contended that he did not resist arrest, and that the officers did not give him a chance to follow their orders.

“The whole time, my hands were behind my back,” Malveaux said. The officers were telling him not to resist, even as the beating continued, he said.

“It went on, it seemed, forever,” Malveaux said.

Deputy Sam Hard’s account of the incident differed somewhat from either Malveaux’s or the other deputies’. Clark “used a strong-arm punch, hitting David on the left side of his face,” before Jakobsson used the Taser on Malveaux, Hard wrote. After the first Taser shock, Malveaux stood up again, and Clark punched Malveaux’s chest, Hard wrote.

The officers struggled with Malveaux until he returned to the ground, but Clark punched Malveaux again when he would not put his hands behind his back, Hard wrote. Hard does not mention a second use of the Taser stun gun, but Malveaux said it was used twice.

The incident began after Malveaux and five of his friends briefly attended a party at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house, 911 17th St., he said. As they were leaving, fraternity members accused them of stealing two iPods. Malveaux was sure no one in his group stole the portable-music players, he said, and the group left in a 1993 Cadillac.

The burglary was reported to police, though, and Deputy Jakobsson spotted the car at about 12:45 a.m. on Arapahoe Road. Sheriff’s deputies, Boulder police and Lafayette police officers responded to Jakobsson’s request for assistance. When the car stopped in Malveaux’s driveway, officers drew their guns and ordered the occupants to keep their hands in the air, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The deputy asked for assistance from other officers because a felony was suspected and because six people were in the vehicle, West said. After the vehicle was stopped, two people in the car were arrested on suspicion of stealing the iPods, according to a Boulder police report.

The sheriff’s office has had five previous encounters with Malveaux, two of which have resulted in arrest, West said.

In 2001, Malveaux was arrested in Louisville on suspicion of second-degree assault, a felony. He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, in March 2002, according to court records. At the same time, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, also a misdemeanor, from a different incident in Lafayette.

Malveaux said he’s never resisted arrest, and there are no similar charges in his background.

“I’m not dumb enough to get a resisting charge when I’m already in trouble,” Malveaux said.

Victoria Camron can be reached at 303-684-5226, or by e-mail at vcamron@times-call.com.

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