A Denver police officer testified Wednesday that after he watched his gang-unit partner stomp on a 16-year-old suspect, the officer told him he didn't know why he had jumped on the boy.
Officer Luis Rivera was with veteran Denver gang officer Charles Porter and two others chasing down Juan Vasquez, who ran when police approached West 37th Avenue and Pecos Street.
After a chase through some yards and a dark alley, Officer Cameron Moer man caught the teen. Rivera, who had fallen behind after tumbling during the chase, found Moerman on his knees straddling Vasquez's prone body, Rivera said.
"Officer Porter and I get there, and Officer Moerman gets up and steps to the side. . . . Officer Porter grabs hold of the fence with both hands. He jumps up, raises his knees and lands with both feet on the kid's back," Rivera said.
Rivera went on to demonstrate the jumps, rising into the air and landing full force on the courtroom floor with three resounding thumps.
"I didn't know what to think at first; I thought that maybe the kid had a weapon or something," he said.
When Porter and he were alone in their squad car, Rivera asked the senior officer why he had jumped on the teenager.
"Officer Porter said, 'I don't know why I do that. It's just something I do lately. I guess I just like the way they sound,' " Rivera said.