Second man accuses Red Bank officer of beating (video)

Second man accuses Red Bank officer of beating (video)

October 2nd, 2014 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

Anthony Joseph Lopez

Anthony Joseph Lopez

Anthony Lopez says he wasn't hurt before he was arrested in August by Red Bank Police Department Officer Mark Kaylor.

But after the arrest, the skin and hair on the top of his head were gone and his head was open and bleeding, Lopez says.

A week after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into Kaylor's violent arrest of a Red Bank man in April, a second man -- Lopez -- claims that Kaylor seriously injured him while Lopez was handcuffed and on his knees.

But unlike the April arrest, this time police have no video or audio recordings of the incident. Kaylor's affidavit about the incident includes no mention of how Lopez ended up with his injuries, and Kaylor did not fill out a form that the department requires officers to complete if they use force that injures another person.

"The report is damning in what it doesn't say," said Andrew Free, Lopez's attorney. "The documents are deafeningly silent in what they don't explain, which is, how does a person become injured like this?"

Lopez, 34, was arrested by Kaylor on Aug. 4, police records show. At about 2:40 a.m., Kaylor received a report of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of U.S. Highway 27.

Kaylor said in an affidavit he spotted the vehicle traveling south in the northbound lane, approaching Signal Mountain Road. He pulled behind the vehicle and attempted to stop it, but Lopez did not respond.

"He continued looking ahead without stopping," Kaylor said in his report.

Kaylor reported he followed the vehicle all the way to Interstate 24, where Chattanooga police helped block the road. As a tractor-trailer drove toward the car, Lopez slammed on the brakes and pulled to the shoulder, according to the affidavit.

It's at this point that Kaylor and Lopez start to disagree about what happened. Kaylor said in his affidavit that Lopez refused to get out of the car and resisted arrest, so Kaylor pulled Lopez out and to the ground.

Kaylor said he got control of only one of Lopez's arms and had to be helped by another officer to handcuff Lopez. Kaylor never described how Lopez's head was injured.

But Lopez, who is a U.S. citizen, said he did not resist arrest. He said Kaylor pulled open the door to his vehicle and yanked him out by his shirt.

"He threw me to my knees," Lopez told his attorney in a recorded interview. "I was pleading that I was not trying to argue or fight. Once he threw me to the ground, he handcuffed me, and from that point on I kind of blacked out a little bit. All I recall is a stinging or stabbing pain to my head."

In his booking photo, Lopez's head is wrapped in a thick white bandage. Free said the lack of documentation from police is unfortunate.

"Normally, if I were representing a client who came away with these sorts of injuries after this type of contact with police, I'd ask police to review the records of how those injuries were sustained," Free said, adding, "When you have your head slammed into the pavement and you black out, you can't remember what happened to you."

Red Bank police policy requires officers to file "Response to Resistance" reports after using physical force -- like pushing, pulling, hitting or kicking -- or whenever an action results or is alleged to result in injury to another person; whenever an officer uses a nondeadly weapon, and whenever an officer uses deadly force.

However, police Chief Tim Christol said there is no Response to Resistance report associated with Lopez's arrest. He said officers usually file the reports when a supervisor observes the use of force or when the officer himself feels a report is necessary.

"Use of force is kind of a subjective thing," Christol said. "So a Response to Resistance report is generally completed when the officer feels the force used was more than just basic control to encourage someone to do what they want them to do."

Kaylor, who now is taking two weeks of personal leave, did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

There is also no video or audio of the arrest, Christol said. In April, a dashboard camera in Kaylor's car recorded him as he hit Candido Medina-Resendiz in the head seven times during an arrest -- the incident TBI is investigating -- but that camera was only in Kaylor's car as part of a test of new video equipment, Christol said.

The department was in the process of buying new cameras for all of its patrol cars and had installed some cameras as a test, Christol said. The test camera in Kaylor's car was removed in June, and police started to install the new camera system in all cars about two weeks ago.

Kaylor's car was one of the first to get the new permanent system, Christol added, so his car is once again equipped with a camera.

Free, who is representing both Medina-Resendiz and Lopez, said he plans to alert the TBI to Lopez's claims, as well.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.


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