Austin cop suspended after arresting man who insulted him

Posted: 2:47 p.m. Friday, January 06, 2017

An Austin police officer who arrested a man that insulted him has been suspended for 20 days with no pay after Interim Police Chief Brian Manley determined that he violated department policies.

A disciplinary memo states that the officer, Richard Spitler, violated policies on officers holding their tempers “even in the face of extreme provocation.”

Spitler’s suspension stems from a July 15 incident at an apartment complex on Wood Hollow Drive in Northwest Austin. Spitler and another officer had responded to a call about a suspicious person.

They encountered a man who appeared intoxicated and detained him. They eventually released him to let him go back to his home on the property.

The man walked about 50 yards in front of he officers, turned around, threw his fist in the air and yelled “assholes,” the memo said.

Spitler then attempted to arrest the man on suspicion of public intoxication. A physical struggle ensued, and several officers had to assist Spitler in restraining the man, the memo said.

Spitler waived his right to appeal the 20-day suspension in an agreement that prohibits Manley from firing him over the incident.


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