Central High School incident

Central High School incident

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — On Wednesday, Central High School students videotaped a verbal altercation with a Mesa County Sheriff student resource officer that suddenly turned violent. The video shows the officer grab the student, who asked not to be touched, put him in a chokehold then throw him to the pavement, where a second officer threatened to tase him.

A student who was on scene and who wishes to stay anonymous sent WesternSlopeNow the following statement:

“On April 24th at 12:45 (the student) had gotten into an argument with a couple other boys, there was a couple pushes but nothing more along the lines of physical assault.

The SRO’s Phil and Hand had come to break up the alleged “fight”. As Phil is walking away into the school (the student) says “who cares” and after says the n-word. Which if you didn’t know is in the vocab of about 80% of the boys at Central High School (including White, Hispanic, African American and Asian students).

The SRO’s then walk (the student) into the school holding him by his shirt, which (the student) agrees too but shrugs him off and says, “don’t touch me”. Phil takes that as a sign of aggression and puts (the student) into a chokehold. We saw about 2 minutes later deputy hand coming in with a taser threatening to tase the boy if he doesn’t comply and get on his stomach.”

Mesa County Sheriff’s Department also released a statement confirming the incident, saying, “On April 24th, Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Unit responded to a verbal altercation involving a large number of students in the parking lot at Central High School.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the incident that transpired and the videos currently in circulation on social media. We take all issues involving any use of force very seriously. As a result, our Professional Standards Unit is currently engaged in a comprehensive internal investigation. Our utmost priority is to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident.

Anyone wishing to make a statement regarding the events that occurred is asked to contact our Professional Standards Unit at 970-244-3973. If anyone has any additional videos to provide, please email them to socomplaint@mesacounty.us.”

District 51 also released the following statement to WesternSlopeNow:

“…The safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority, and we are cooperating fully with the Mesa County Sheriff’s office during the investigation.”

The Sheriff’s office tells WesternSlopeNow the two deputies involved are Michael Hand and Phillip Peterson. Hand has been with the department nine years and Peterson has been with them three years. The teen shown in the video has not been suspended from school or charged with any crime.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WesternSlopeNow.com.