Body cam footage shows Idaho Springs police officers deploying stun gun on deaf man in 2019 arrest

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/28/21

Body camera footage of a Sept. 2019 incident between Idaho Springs police officers and Brady Mistic shows officers holding Mistic to the ground and hitting him with a stun-gun, and Mistic shouts …

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Body cam footage shows Idaho Springs police officers deploying stun gun on deaf man in 2019 arrest

Posted

Body camera footage of a Sept. 2019 incident between Idaho Springs police officers and Brady Mistic shows officers holding Mistic to the ground and hitting him with a stun-gun as Mistic shouts “no ears” in an attempt to communicate that he is deaf.

Only when Mistic is in handcuffs do officers Nicholas Hanning and Ellie Summers understand that he is deaf.

Mistic recently filed a lawsuit against Hanning, Summers, the City of Idaho Springs and the Clear Creek Board of County Commissioners. Mistic's complaint and jury demand in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado also claims that, during his four months in the county jail after the arrest, he was not properly accommodated.

According to his lawsuit, Mistic is completely deaf in both ears and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He cannot lip-read and can only vocalize a few words.

Mistic, who was 24 when he ISPD arrested him, was charged with assault on a first responder, obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest. The criminal case ultimately terminated in his favor, with the District Attorney's Office confirming that he participated in a diversion program.

Then-ISPD Chief Chris Malanka reviewed the incident and concluded the officers' actions were appropriate, an ISPD press release described. Summers was in training at the time.

Hanning, who is no longer with the department, and Summers were also involved in incident this summer with Michael Clark, a 75-year-old Idaho Springs resident whom Hanning hit with a stun-gun while Clark standing unarmed in his home.

Clark has since suffered serious health problems, and Hanning has been charged with third-degree assault of an at-risk person. Summers was disciplined internally for the May 30 incident with Clark.

Sept. 2019 footage

In the body camera footage from Sept. 17, 2019 acquired and shared by 9News, Summers and Hanning are riding in a patrol vehicle with its lights flashing. They are seen driving along 13th Avenue past the Kum & Go toward Clear Creek Laundromat.

Mistic reportedly ran a stop sign on his way to do laundry.

As the patrol vehicle parks outside Clear Creek Laundromat, Summers is heard yelling, “Sit back in your car! Sit back in your car!”

According to the officers and ISPD, Mistic got out of his vehicle and approached the patrol car quickly.

Hanning then yells something about “coming up on us like that,” and is then seen approaching Mistic as Hanning says, “Excuse me. Who do you think you are?”

Mistic is seen with his hands up and his arms moving, and Hanning tussles with him, while telling Mistic to stop.

The video then goes black as the camera is covered by Hanning taking Mistic to the ground, but Mistic is heard trying to say something. Summers then tells Mistic to get his arms behind his back. The video then changes as the camera is visibly close to the ground, and Mistic's hand is seen on the ground beneath Hanning.

“Arms behind your back right now, or I'm going to tase you,” Summers yells.

“Tase him,” Hanning says as a stun-gun is deployed.

Summers repeats her commands, and Mistic yells, “No ears.”

Hanning then tells Summers to hand-cuff Mistic. The camera is still along the ground as Mistic is heard repeatedly saying something like “didn't do it” and then says “I'm deaf.”

Summers tells Mistic to sit down, as Mistic asks, “What do you want?”

“Don't run at us like that,” Summers says.

“I'm deaf,” Mistic replies.

“Just stay, sit down. … You're deaf?” Summers says.

The camera then shifts to above Mistic, who is sitting on the ground in handcuffs, and Hanning is likewise on the ground. He states later in the video that he sustained a leg injury during the incident. Hanning uses his radio to state that a stun-gun was deployed and asks for medical personnel to respond.

The camera is then put on the ground so it is facing the sky, and Summers is heard loudly and clearly asking Mistic, “Are you OK? You're OK? Does anything hurt? Does anything hurt?”

Later in the video, Hanning is seen and heard calling then-ISPD Chief Chris Malanka, saying, “Hey, we got in a thing over at the Laundromat with a resisting on a traffic stop. Had to use force and Taser deployed. … I don't know what's wrong with my ankle, but I can't walk. ... We're going to book (Mistic), I think.”

Mistic was later taken to the hospital, and in a second video, Summers is in Mistic's hospital room and communicating with him via an ASL translator. Summers says that she wants to explain why she's arresting him before they leave the hospital.

“I pulled him over for failing to stop at that stop sign,” she tells the ASL translator. “He got out of his car and approached my car very quickly. That's not how that's supposed to work. So, we got out and tried to contact you. That's all I have.”

Mistic then signs and the ASL translator says, “OK, I understand I failed to stop. That's fine.”

Summers then says, “Do you understand why everything else happened?”

Mistic signs, “No. When I got pulled over, I tried to come because the light was in my face, and it scared me. And I couldn't see. And I didn't like that, and I was frustrated. So, I came over to see what was going over, because I thought it was even someone else. I didn't know that I was the one; I didn't know what the reason was. But, I couldn't see.”

Summer replies, “I understand that, but you should've stayed in your vehicle.”

Mistic then asks about his car, which Summers says was towed. Summers then explains that Mistic will be released from the hospital and taken to jail.

“I didn't fight or anything,” Mistic signs. “You grabbed me down and took me down on the ground. And later, I got frustrated. I was trying to talk. I was trying to say something. You didn't know I was deaf. … I'm surprised. What am I going to jail for?”

Summers says it's for resisting arrest, assault in the second degree and a stop-sign violation.

Mistic then signs that he needs a lawyer, and Summers says she's not going to ask him any questions and that she's only explaining what's going on.

“Assault with second degree? It sounds like I was trying to kill someone,” Mistic signs. “I wasn't doing anything. … When I came to try to talk with you, you pulled me down.”

Summers then states she has nothing else to say and turns off the camera.

ISPD has declined further comment on the incident, because of the ongoing litigation.

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