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Crime and Courts

Loveland police officer who roughly arrested elderly woman with dementia will stand trial for assault, judge rules

District Judge Michelle Brinegar said there is probable cause for the charge against Austin Hopp

Loveland police officers who arrested 73-year-old Karen Garner, who has dementia, laughed about the arrest when watching body camera video and fist-bumped each other, according to video released by the woman’s attorney.

LOVELAND — A former Colorado police officer involved in the rough arrest of an elderly woman with dementia should stand trial for assault, a judge ruled Monday.

District Judge Michelle Brinegar said there is probable cause for the charge against former Loveland police officer Austin Hopp, who will be arraigned in late September, the Loveland Reporter-Herald reported.

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Hopp arrested Karen Garner in June 2020 after she left a store without paying for about $14 worth of items. His body camera footage shows him catching up to the woman as she walked through a field along a road. Gardner, now 74, shrugged and turned away from him and he quickly grabbed her arm and pushed her 80-pound body to the ground.

A federal lawsuit filed on Garner’s behalf, which included images from the body camera footage, claims Hopp dislocated her shoulder by shoving her handcuffed left arm forward onto the hood of his patrol car and that she was denied medical treatment for about six hours.

Former Loveland police officer Daria Jalali is facing several charges stemming from the arrest, including failing to intervene in the use of excessive force.


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