A Denver police officer accused of beating a teenager acted in self-defense and used reasonable force to subdue him, according to the city's response to the lawsuit filed by the teen.
Juan G. Vasquez, 16, alleges he suffered a lacerated liver, fractured ribs and kidney injuries after officer Charles Porter held the top of a fence with both hands and then jumped up and down on the teen's back with his full weight.
In its written response, the city stated: "Defendant's actions were at all times privileged on the basis of self-defense of others, use of reasonable force in effectuating an arrest . . . privilege to detain for investigation, privilege to arrest without a warrant, and/or other applicable privileges," according to the document submitted Friday by Assistant City Attorney Thomas G. Bigler.
Porter, who was assigned to the department's gang unit, has been charged with felonious first-degree assault in the case.
Porter's defense lawyer in the criminal matter also had denied that the 40-year-old officer committed foul play.
The police department has suspended the 12- year veteran without pay.
Vasquez was with friends on the night of April 18 at a home near Pecos Street and West 37th Avenue.
Porter and other officers, who were patrolling the neighborhood, thought Vasquez was drinking beer.
As Porter and the other officers approached the group, Vasquez ran from them, jumping over neighborhood fences.The officers caught up to Vas quez in an alley where they kicked and beat the teen, according to the lawsuit. Porter then allegedly joined in and hopped up and down on Vasqu
Rocky Mountain News