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3 Weld County deputies relieved of duty after suspect punched in back of the head

Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 20:05:58-05

GREELEY, Colo. — Three deputies with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office have been relieved of duty following an incident with a criminal suspect last month, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office Wednesday.

The incident took place on October 18 and involved a suspect being held in an interview room at the Weld County Sheriff’s Office for the Loveland Police Department, the release read.

A video that accompanied Wednesday’s news release showed the three deputies attempting to restrain the suspect as the suspect refused to follow verbal commands. At one point during the altercation, a deputy punched the suspect in the back of the head.

WATCH | Weld County Sheriff's Office video of incident

That deputy accused of punching the suspect, Paul Saunders, joined the force in June of this year, according to the sheriff’s office. He was in training at the time of the incident.

Saunders was issued a summons for third degree assault and was terminated, the release read.

The two other deputies in the room at the time of the incident — Sergeant Scott Holmen and Deputy Todd Deutsch — were 15-year veterans of the force. Holmen resigned, and Deutsch was terminated following an internal investigation of the incident, according to the sheriff's office.