Mark Kaylor, the former Red Bank police officer indicted in March 2015 in connection with the violent arrest of a Hispanic man, was supposed to go to trial Tuesday.
But attorneys decided earlier this month to cancel that agreement and turn Tuesday's appearance into a disposition date. During such an appearance, attorneys typically introduce a plea agreement, set a trial date or pass the case. The case was passed Tuesday, and Kaylor will return May 24 to Hamilton County Criminal Court for a status hearing.
"And that status is to pick a trial date," attorney Lee Davis said.
The two-year saga began when Kaylor was involved in a violent traffic stop in April 2014. Dashcam video shows Kaylor punching Candido Medina-Resendiz in the arm and face while other officers pinned the man, stun-gunned him, and tried to handcuff him. At one point, while Kaylor lies on top of Medina-Resendiz, he claims he's going to "[expletive] kick your ass." The ordeal left Medina- Resendiz with a swollen-shut eye, a fractured eye socket, and cuts and bruises on his cheeks.
Kaylor, meanwhile, was commended for his restraint. The Red Bank police internal affairs cleared him of wrongdoing. And Medina-Resendiz was indicted on charges of simple assault, resisting arrest, and driving under the influence. Then, District Attorney General Neal Pinkston saw dashcam footage of the arrest and requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation launch a probe. That was September 2014.
Kaylor took two weeks of vacation. Then another man — Anthony Lopez — came forward and claimed Kaylor beat him up during an August arrest. Pinkston, after reviewing the TBI's investigation, took the case to a Hamilton County grand jury in late February 2015. A few days passed. Then, hours before he was indicted on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and official misconduct, Kaylor resigned from the Red Bank Police Department.
"Due to some trials they had going on at the courthouse the last few weeks, Pinkston and I discussed the case," Davis said Tuesday. "And based on the logistics of cases, we had to put it over. In the interim, we just put it over for a settlement. It doesn't mean anything. We're still looking for a trial date."
Davis added he has witnesses and jurors to accommodate. In the meantime, Kaylor's pending case has frozen other litigation, too.
Medina-Resendiz and Lopez filed separate lawsuits in Chattanooga's federal courthouse, each claiming the Red Bank department created a protective culture for officers with prior episodes of misconduct. They both requested punitive damages for the pain they suffered. But both cases have been put on hold until Kaylor's criminal charges are resolved, records show.
"If the criminal case were to run super long, the judge might let it go forward," Medina-Resendiz's attorney, Kyle Mothershead, said of the federal lawsuit. Otherwise, everyone is waiting for May 24.
Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at 423-757-6347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.