APD officer facing charges for allegedly punching disabled woman

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Douglas Harroun mugshot provided by ACSO

AURORA | An Aurora Police Department officer faces a felony charge for allegedly punching a disabled woman who was walking her dog outside his building complex while off-duty Wednesday evening.

Douglas Harroun, 32, has been charged with third degree assault against an at risk adult, a class 5 felony.

Around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 11 Aurora police reportedly requested the support of Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an altercation involving an APD officer, according to a Thursday news release from the sheriff’s office.

“Deputies responded to a scene in the 15000 blk of E. Briarwood Circle in Aurora,” the agency said. “Witnesses told deputies they observed a male punching a woman several times in the head and the face.”

The victim is a 49-year-old physically disabled woman who was transported to a local hospital with injuries, the agency said.

An arrest affidavit for Harroun said that he and his wife were driving up to the complex where their home is located in his Jeep as the victim was walking her dog in the middle of the road. The dog was not on a leash and Harroun had to drive slowly behind her as he approached the parking garage, the affidavit said.

The woman yelled at Harroun for following her and he and his wife then got into a verbal argument with her, the affidavit said. They then got out of the car and continued to argue.

Witnesses then observed Douglas punch the victim in the left side of her face, the affidavit said. The victim “fell to the ground and Douglas got on top of her and continued to punch her in the head four to five more times.”

The affidavit said the woman has a chronic pain disorder that affects the nerves in half of her body, and has injuries consistent with what witnesses described.

Harroun has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay, according to a Thursday afternoon news release from APD. The department also said it is opening an internal affairs investigation into the incident.

“The alleged actions Wednesday night are inconsistent with the Aurora Police Department’s core values,” APD interim chief Art Acevedo said in a statement. “We want to thank our partners at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office for responding and taking the lead on the investigation.”

The release said that Harroun was hired in 2020 and was placed on paid administrative leave after being involved in a non-fatal shooting on Dec. 31.

An unidentified man was shot in the leg while APD officers were arresting a domestic violence suspect at a north Aurora residence shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve. APD spokesperson Matthew Longshore said Harroun was still on administrative leave from that shooting at the time of his arrest.

Harroun is currently being held on a $25,000 bond in the Arapahoe County Jail, according to online records. He is scheduled to appear in Arapahoe County District Court on Jan. 18.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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jeff brown
jeff brown
17 days ago

So does APD have adequate mental health resources for its officers or not? This incident suggests not.

The current city council is rudderless when it comes to caring for the city’s finances–and thus its employees. This is the kind of thing that happens when leadership “makes do” with an entirely inadequate budget. Just like when an officer was found passed out drunk on duty. Or when council couldn’t fund adequate prisoner transport– or a modest technology request from the detectives.

On this subject, has anyone done a deep dive on what’s it really going to cost the city to actually comply with the AG’s consent decree long term? Or is leadership still saying “we’ll just have to make do” as they seek to cut revenue and ignore the sad state of the retail tax base.

It’s time for new leadership, clearly.

Don Black
Don Black
16 days ago
Reply to  jeff brown

If what has been printed is true, this officer deserves to be charged. I am guessing that Arapahoe County has taken a fair look at the evidence. As far as a deep dive into the cost, start with over 4 million dollars to enforce a decree whose goal should never have been accepted. The City has painted itself into a corner by not challenging the false scenario created by the media and the Attorney General. There has always been a lack of ethical leadership in the Aurora Police Department and the City. No one seems to link poor leadership with the performance of the Department. Vanessa Wilson was no better than any of her predecessors. The lack of ethical leadership is a sign of the times. The damage to an organization is tremendous when you know that your leadership will not stand up with the truth. The real cost to the citizens of the consent decree is a continued lack of honesty in dealing with the crime situation and the damage to recruitment and morale when you tell officers that they should pursue dishonest goals. No one will discuss the problems with both the police reform bill and the consent decree. They are afraid of that conversation. When they won’t talk about it, you already know the truth. When the chief says that he will pursue the goals of the consent decree, you already know what he is. The fact that no chiefs have spoken up about the huge flaws and damage done by the police reform bill tells you where they stand when it comes to ethics.

Joe
Joe
15 days ago
Reply to  Don Black

Mr. Black,

I agree with you. Those that consistently defend Wilson clearly never worked closely with her or had to endure the wrath of her daily meltdowns in the Chief’s office or the favoritism that ruined careers. Wilson was APD’s version of “no child left behind” and they just kept promoting a problem because she was a politician and the squeaky wheel. This forced me into an early retirement and I can only hope the new Chief is more emotionally stable and able to maintain a force and provide fairness and consistency for the officers. Promotions, enjoyment of work, and moral should all be based on leadership and inclusion and fairness- not if you party with the Chief on the weekends.

I also hope the new Chief is able to respectfully disagree with the Council when they are in the wrong, such as Jurinsky calling on this gentleman to not take his promotion. Addiction is an illness and we must not forgot that and we must celebrate where this man has come and not continue to vilify him for a decision that was made by Wilson and Metz in regards to his discipline. This sort of rhetoric by Council will do NOTHING to help rebuild this department, trust in the community, or with the consent monitor and I hope someone communicates that to her, if she is willing to listen but she doesn’t seem like the type.

Doug
Doug
13 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Sorta understand your position. Sorta. 🤔

Tawny Fox
Tawny Fox
17 days ago

Aurora’s finest, for sure.

Beverly Bennett
Beverly Bennett
16 days ago

Look at the photo of this man. Would you be expecting reasonable and rational behavior? Why was he a police officer in the first place? I am not sure what more has to happen, how many more times we are in the national spotlight, for this barbaric behavior to end.

Doug
Doug
13 days ago

Similar thoughts here

John in Denver
John in Denver
16 days ago

Do hope there is a chance to learn the hiring criteria and how Douglas Harroun met them in 2020.

FactsOverFeelings
FactsOverFeelings
16 days ago

I’m surprised they haven’t promoted him yet.

Melissa S.
Melissa S.
16 days ago

He’ll get a promotion next year.

GeneD
16 days ago

Way past time for APD to examine its ‘core values’ and look at closing the gap between the ideal and the actual.

Jack
Jack
16 days ago

So APD promotes an officer who was drunk and passed out in his car? And here’s another dead-ender in uniform who’s punching out a disabled women???

I live in this crazy city and I’m genuinely afraid to ever call these people who are supposedly sworn to protect and serve us.

This is a disgrace!

Doug
Doug
13 days ago
Reply to  Jack

The one turned himself around, so that’s good. It wasn’t a violent act against another. But the assault? Fire him and prosecute with jail time.

Michael L Moore
Michael L Moore
15 days ago

A person never wants to prejudge a situation too soon, but it’s hard to figure out how a dog-walking situation escalated into the battery of a citizen. Again, the escalation of a problem is front and center. It seems that the protect and serve part of the social contract with police is overlooked by some within police departments in favor of immediate command and control. Being a police officer is tough work! However, police officers must be able to learn the lesson of personal control – not despite their place in our society but because of it. Just because you can beat somebody up doesn’t mean you should! Police are like any other professionals; they should be held to a higher standard.

Doug
Doug
13 days ago

Oh it’s really easy. Happens all the time. Road rage, domestic violence, neighbor to neighbor violence.
But give power without accountability and you could see this sort of thing escalate.

Good Citizen
Good Citizen
13 days ago

Note the response from two welfare recipients, Don and Joe, claiming that as tax thieves that they deserve “promotions” or “enjoyment of work” Think about how long you were double taxed in reference to these two bums. You not only paid taxes yourself, but taxes were withdrawn from the salaries that were stolen form you by Mutt and Joe. Ask them to justify the money that was poured into their pockets over the years with real world, documented results. For every time that they got a raise or a promotion, were they required to produce documented results of success in lowering crime rates? No, not anecdotal stories about how everybody loves them because they wear a clown costume, but actual numbers, the sort that real workers have to produce to even justify their continued employment. They will tell you that that responsible taxpayers that want this sort of information have some sort of beef with police. ” You must have gotten a ticket” “Do you have any warrants?”, etc. Match that up with the bootlicking, phony conservatives that allow themselves and me to be ripped off and you have a perfect storm of theft from the boys in blue.