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‘I was waiting for the bullet to come out’: Man says he thought Aurora cop was going to kill him

AURORA, Colo — The man who was seen in body camera footage being strangled by an Aurora officer for more than 30 seconds and struck multiple times in the head by that officer with his duty weapon said he thought he was going to die.

“I was just thinking that I was going to die – that I was not going to see another day,” said Kyle Vinson – the man seen in the body camera footage.

Vinson still has lingering effects related to what happened on July 23.

“Just my chest. You know, my chest hurts – headaches and blurred vision and stuff,” Vinson said Tuesday, roughly 10 days after the incident. “But, you know, I’m just taking it one day at a time – you know – hanging in there.”

The incident began when officers John Haubert and Francine Martinez responded to a trespassing call on July 23 in the 3100 block of South Parker Road. Both have been arrested, and Haubert, who faces felony assault charges, has since resigned.

While responding to that call, the officers encountered Vinson, who had an active warrant out for his arrest, an arrest affidavit says. Aurora Police (APD) Chief Vanessa Wilson later said she believed Vinson was unaware of the warrant when the officers approached him and attempted to take him into custody.

Arrest warrants were issued for the officers on July 26, and the next day on July 27, APD released body camera footage that shows that Haubert had his hands around Vinson’s throat for 39 seconds until Vinson appeared to begin to lose consciousness.

“I watched the majority of it [the body camera footage] – not all at once, but it’s kind of hard to take in,” Vinson said. “I’m just thinking I’m thankful I’m still here, because I thought I was going to die or be another Elijah McClain or George Floyd.”

He suffered numerous injuries during the incident including:

  • Bruise and cuts on forehead
  • Right eye was half swollen shut and bruised
  • Cut on top of the head that required five stitches
  • Bruising on chest area

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