Aurora officer accused of strangling, beating man with pistol during arrest resigns

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AURORA | An Aurora police officer who threatened to kill an unarmed man while strangling him and repeatedly hitting him in the head with the butt of his pistol during an arrest last week has stepped down from his post.

Aurora Officer John Haubert, 39, submitted a letter of resignation to police chief Vanessa Wilson Thursday afternoon, six days after body camera footage showed him repeatedly pistol-whipping a 29-year-old man who was stopped during a trespassing call and later found to have an outstanding felony warrant for a probation violation in Denver.

On Monday, an Arapahoe County judge signed a warrant seeking Haubert’s arrest for several felony charges, including attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault and menacing, and a pair of misdemeanors. He turned himself in to the Arapahoe County jail later the same day, paid a $50,000 bond and was released.

The incident began as a trespassing call at about 1:30 p.m. July 23 at 3138 S. Parker Rd. in Aurora, court documents show. Haubert and fellow Officer Francine Martinez stopped three men who were later determined to have felony warrants for their rest.

Two of the men fled on foot as Haubert attempted to take a third man, Kyle Vinson, into custody.

As Haubert attempted to put Vinson into handcuffs, he repeatedly bashed his head with the butt of his gun, causing multiple welts, bruises and a gash that ultimately required six stitches.

At one point, Haubert began to choke Vinson, who repeatedly asked the officer not to shoot him. In the video footage, Vinson can be heard wailing through labored breathing, at one point saying: “You’re killing me.”

Throughout the encounter, Haubert held his pistol against Vinson’s chest and the back of his head multiple times. He later told a police sergeant: “I was going to shoot him but I didn’t know if I had a round in it or not,” according to an arrest affidavit.

On Tuesday, Vinson retained a pair of local civil rights law firms to represent him.

“The harrowing body camera footage of Officers Francine Martinez and John Haubert’s vicious, unprovoked assault illuminates the ongoing issue of police violence, particularly against communities of color,” Attorney Siddhartha Rathod of the firm Rathod Mohamedbhai in Denver wrote in a statement Tuesday. “Mr. Vinson recognizes that many are unable to walk away from police violence and he is grateful that he survived the attack.”

The incident has drawn national scrutiny in the past week, with local politicos condemning the recent episode of brutality and the local police chief imploring residents to maintain civil order despite their ire.

“As angry as you are, I need peace in this city — please,” Wilson said at a press conference on Tuesday.

She has railed against Haubert’s actions and thanked the district attorneys who have helped prepare a speedy case against the former officer.

“This was criminal,” she said of Haubert’s actions.

Haubert had been a patrolman for Aurora police for three years, a department spokesperson said. He had not incurred any departmental discipline prior to last week.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Haubert’s lawyer, Reid Elkus, has vowed to “zealously defend” him.

In March of 2009, Haubert was accused of DUI, felony menacing and a misdemeanor weapons charge for being drunk with a gun, court records show. He pleaded guilty to the weapons charge in October of that year.

He was sentenced to three months of probation, 24 hours of community service and ordered to pay court fees.

An expedited internal affairs investigation into Vinson’s arrest has been initiated, and the results are expected to be released next week, according to Wilson. Once the report is completed, she will announce what internal discipline would have been handed down if Haubert had not resigned.

Martinez has also been accused of a pair of misdemeanors related to her inaction during Vinson’s arrest. She was arrested earlier this the week on suspicion of failure to intervene and failure to report use of force by an officer. She was required to pay a $1,000 bond to stay free while her criminal case moves through the courts.

She remains on paid leave with the department as the internal affairs investigation moves forward.

Haubert made his initial appearance in Arapahoe County District Court earlier this week, records indicate. He’s due to make another appearance at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 9.

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Charlie Petrerson
Charlie Petrerson
1 month ago

He resigned because he didn’t want to be fired and his police union wasn’t going to pay to defend him. He gave up a few weeks pay in order to be able to tell another department was not fired if he is not found guilty. In some states officers can resign under investigation, and still be hired by another department if those states don’t release IA files which many do not do. He’s helping himself, so don’t think he is saying to the victim or anyone else that he was wrong. If he ever express remorse it will be he should not had used his firearm to hit the victim.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

You are correct, but somehow it should be known to all departments what happened.

john wilson
john wilson
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

A quick google search will reveal it, and all departments do that or should….
He quit probably with an agreement to get his sick pay, you forfeit it if you get fired for sure, there was some arrangement made, otherwise he should have made them fired him.

Last edited 1 month ago by john wilson
Joe Felice
Joe Felice
1 month ago

I guess anyone can get hired as a cop, regardless of his past.

john wilson
john wilson
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Felice

No, this was done because APD is having a hard time getting officers, who wants to work there now with this chief in charge?

Dennis Duffy
Dennis Duffy
1 month ago

Anonymous sources have just suggested that perhaps Mr Haubert is the love child of Donald Trump and the baby’s momma I s possibly Nancy Pelosi. This likely explains his violent behavior and inability to control himself and his passive aggressive tendencies towards authority. Records show that he possibly has registered as both a Democrat and a republican. He has indicated he will run for city council if found guilty.

dean
1 month ago
Reply to  Dennis Duffy

So Duffy, talking about running for council as a felon with violent tendencies. And unlike any made-up anonymous sources. Then this piece offers it all, considering Ms Baileys picture and comments attached to this article as an interested party (retired felon) and further WESTWORD (July-6) take. “That same logic applies to Candice Bailey’s filing for personal bankruptcy in 2017. If her past financial challenges trouble voters, they can throw their support behind someone else, but as a candidate, she can offer an explanation as to why such matters shouldn’t be disqualifying. For example, while Donald Trump never filed for personal bankruptcy, his hotel and casino businesses took advantage of bankruptcy laws six times between 1991 and 2009, yet he was still elected President of the United States in 2016″ . Therefore Candice’s assault with a deadly weapon, Aurora voters will be pleased to see her name to be offered on the next ballot for a seat on the next Council. The funniest part of this – they just don’t know it yet…

None
None
1 month ago

Where are the marches? This proves that all the marches last summer were for racists by racists