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Crime and Courts

Loveland police sergeant in rough arrest of elderly Colorado woman resigns

The Loveland Police Department announced Wednesday evening that Phil Metzler submitted his resignation amid a disciplinary review

This video from the Loveland Police Department body camera footage shows Karen Garner on the ground while being arrested on June 26, 2020. Garner, who has dementia, had been walking through a field picking wildflowers when an officer stopped her because she was suspected of shoplifting. The city of Loveland announced Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, that it will pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit over her arrest. (Loveland Police Department via AP)

LOVELAND — A police sergeant who was placed on administrative leave following the rough arrest of a 73-year-old Colorado woman with dementia has resigned.

The Loveland Police Department announced Wednesday evening that Phil Metzler submitted his resignation amid a disciplinary review.

Police Chief Robert Ticer said in a statement Metzler’s resignation “closes one more chapter of an incident that has tarnished the hard work of the men and women of the Loveland Police Department.”

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

Then-officer Austin Hopp arrested Karen Garner after she left a store without paying for $13.88 worth of items in June 2020. Police body camera video shows that after she turned away from him, he grabbed her arm and pushed her to the ground. A federal lawsuit that Garner filed, which has since been settled for $3 million, claimed he dislocated her shoulder by shoving her handcuffed left arm forward onto the hood of a patrol car.

Metzler was captured on body camera footage dismissing a passerby’s excessive force concerns. A working phone number for him could not be found Wednesday evening.

Hopp and another officer who responded to help him are being criminally prosecuted for their actions.


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