Video: Cop Charged With Assault After Smashing Handcuffed Man With His Elbow.
POCATELLO, Idaho – Nine-year police veteran, detective Steven Westfall is being charged with simple assault stemming from an incident on July 10.
Westfall was on the scene as suspect James Rutherford was escorted out of an IRS office by police, but not at that point under arrest.
After bringing him outside, the officers then tried to conduct a search of Rutherford, which he did not consent to.
Officers then put Rutherford in cuffs.
After a slight push, two officers push Rutherford face down onto the front of the squad car.
It is at this point that detective Westfall comes over, raises his arm into the air, and drops an elbow right on to Ruthorford’s temple, breaking his sunglasses.
Westfall then uses his elbow keep Rutherford’s face pinned into the car for almost a minute while handcuffed and obviously restrained by two other officers.
Rutherford was later arrested for trespassing, resisting arrest and obstruction.
Initially the footage was not released. Westfall has been charged, placed on administrative leave, and has been summoned, but the summons has yet to be returned.
Administrative leave is the fancy way of saying he’s not working but still getting paid on your dime. If convicted, Westfall could face up to one year in prison and given a $5,000 fine.
Westfall tried to clear himself of malicious intent by saying he “was not angry or upset, he just felt a need to control the suspect”.
Another officer though, said he thought Westfall was upset and said that Westfall “didn’t want to hurt him, but he did make a mistake”
The case remains sealed because the summons was yet to be returned by Westfall.