Posted: Jan 6, 2013 7:04 PM by Ben Trotter
On July 18, 2012 a grass fire broke out in Paradise Valley. Former State Legislator Joel Boniek lives in the area of the fire and says he was trying to get back to his place to tend to his animals when he ended up under arrest.
He says deputies told him Caldonia Road was blocked and did not let him enter. Boneik says a neighbor allowed him access to Inverness Road and a chase, that was captured on police video, ensued.
When Boniek pulled over and got out of his truck, "the deputy came up behind me and grabbed my arm and he said that I tensed up...that seems like a normal human response when somebody manhandles you." said Boniek.
Boneik claims his arrest was harsh and an unecessary use of force. "I was still standing there calmly, not resisting, not trying to run away, not fighting, not struggling, all the normal elements of resisting, and he threw me in the dirt, and then they jumped on me and handcuffed me." said Boniek
The police report states that the reporting officer noticed several things on Boniek's belt including a firearm. Boniek says that the video shows the officers did not see his gun until after they threw him on the ground and handcuffed him.
Also, according to the police report, one of the officers will be submitting a request to charge Boniek with criminal endangerment for almost crashing into another patrol vehicle and forcing a civilian vehicle off the road. Boniek notes that he is not being charged with any crime that may have lead up to the chase, only charges relating to the chase.
We tried to contact the Park County Sheriff's Department, but did not hear back from them. A trial for Boniek will be set tomorrow.