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Aurora officer resigns amid investigation into excessive use of force on suspect

john raymond haubert_mug.jpg
John Raymond Haubert and Francine Ann Martinez.jpg
Posted at 1:21 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 15:27:37-04

AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora officer has resigned following an investigation into his alleged use of excessive force against a suspect who appeared to be complying with commands earlier this month.

John Haubert, 39, submitted his letter of resignation to Aurora Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson on Thursday afternoon, the police department confirmed.

The investigation into the excessive use of force case will continue despite his resignation, the police department said.

According to arrest affidavits released Tuesday, Haubert struck a man with his gun several times, threatened to kill him, and choked him during an arrest. Read Haubert's arrest affidavit here.

Haubert turned himself in Monday evening, posted bond, and was released after arrest warrants were issued for him and Aurora Ofc. Francine Ann Martinez earlier in the afternoon. Martinez was also involved in the arrest. Read her arrest affidavit here. The police department said it did not have any resignation news regarding Martinez.

Haubert is facing four felony charges:

  • Criminal attempt of first-degree assault
  • Second-degree assault with a deadly weapon
  • Second-degree assault with strangulation
  • Felony menacing

He also faces two misdemeanor charges including first-degree official misconduct and official oppression. He did not have any formal disciplinary history, according to the Aurora Police Department.

He had been with the department for three years.

The charges against him stem from an arrest on July 23 around 2:16 p.m. at 3138 S. Parker Road, according to the affidavits.

They encountered Kyle Maurice Vinson, 29, who had an active felony warrant stemming from a domestic violence-related incident. During the arrest, Haubert positioned himself near Vinson’s head, and grabbed Vinson’s neck and pointed his pistol at the man’s head, the affidavit states.

The affidavit says Haubert told Vinson to get on his face and roll over while still on top of Vinson, pointing a gun at him and later grabbing him by the neck and throat.

The arresting documents show Vinson was struck by Haubert several times as he kept him on the ground and Vinson is heard repeatedly yelling to Haubert, “You’re killing me!” He has visible injuries and blood on his head, according to the affidavit, and appeared to lose consciousness. About 39 seconds after Haubert first began to strangle Vinson, Haubert removed his hand and Vinson said, “Don’t shoot me please” and said “Don’t hurt me” twice, according to the affidavits.

“Mr. Vinson was not striking, punching, or kicking Officer Haubert. It did not appear … that Mr. Vinson made any life-threatening actions toward Officer Haubert or Officer Martinez,” according to the affidavits, which state several times the suspect did not attempt to fight back. Vinson also never appeared armed, according to the affidavits.

Body camera footage from a sergeant later showed him asking Haubert whose blood was on Haubert’s gun. Haubert responded, “Should be all his (Vinson), all that blood on him is from me f****** pistol-whipping him,” according to the affidavits.

Vinson's lawyers, who are from the firms of Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC and the Law Office of Charles A. Nicholas, P.C., provided the following statement: "The harrowing body camera footage of Officers Francine Martinez and John Haubert’s vicious, unprovoked assault illuminates the ongoing issue of police violence, particularly against communities of color. Mr. Vinson recognizes that many are unable to walk away from police violence and he is grateful that he survived the attack. Mr. Vinson appreciates the support he has received from the community."

During a news conference Tuesday, Chief Wilson apologized to the community and to Vinson's family, saying many officers within the department were disgusted with what they saw.

"This is not police work. This is not police work. We don’t train this. It’s not acceptable," Wilson said during opening remarks. "This is not the Aurora Police Department. This was criminal.”

This is a developing story. Stay with Denver7 for updates.