A sergeant with the Denver Police Department plans to appeal a pending 30-day suspension issued after it was discovered that he used an "unauthorized control hold" on a man who was suspected of attempting to steal a Greyhound bus.
Read Unlocking the Confusion Around Chokeholds
According to ABC News, Sergeant Rudolph Suniga and another officer were called to respond to the attempted theft of the bus on September 23, 2018. When they made contact with the subject—identified as 41-year-old Jaworski Gauthier—the man threw a punch at Suniga, knocking his body camera to the ground.
During the ensuing scuffle, Suniga reportedly applied what is referred to in the sergeant's discipline letter as an "unauthorized control hold" that rendered Gauthier temporarily unconscious.
The Denver Police Department's Arrest and Control Techniques Manual says that a carotid compression technique is one of the takedown techniques available to officers, but that it may only be applied in certain aggravating situations: "A subject's actions must fall under the category of an aggravated active aggression resistance (aggravated active aggression is defined as a deadly force encounter)." And it specifies that it should not involve applying pressure to the front of the throat.