It was a hot day and 29-year-old Kyle Vinson sought some shade with a cold drink in an office park, where he was looking for work at an optical store in Aurora.
Vinson had been experiencing homelessness and had met a few guys on the streets, one who helped him put air in the tires of his bike so he could get around more. He sat near them.
Police arrived on a report that some men were trespassing. The officers asked all three of them for their names. They all complied. The officers ran their names through state and federal databases and discovered all three had outstanding warrants.
The two officers, Francine Martinez and John Haubert, began to approach the three men. But two took off. According to body camera footage, Vinson remained on the ground in a neon green shirt and black shorts. His bike was nearby.
Vinson spoke to reporters on Tuesday for the first time since the arrest from his lawyer’s office in downtown Denver. He is staying at a hotel and his lawyer, Qusair Mohamedbhai, said the two are considering a lawsuit against the Aurora Police Department for what happened on July 23.
Vinson said Haubert seemed mad when he approached him.
“I was trying to figure out why he was so mad,” Vinson said. “I was scared. Immediately, he told me to roll over and I did and from that point he put a gun to my head. I had my hands on the ground and he said, ‘don’t move or I’ll shoot you’ and it was so scary.”
A police video revealed that Haubert struck Vinson 13 times with his pistol and attempted to strangle him. Haubert also tased him. Vinson said one injury to his chest is the one that still hurts.
“The first three or four hits, it just then became hard to remember,” Vinson said. “You’re just thinking about your life at the time when that’s happening to you.”
Asked whether he thought about the police brutality protest movement during his arrest, Vinson said no.
“I thought I was going to die there,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about racism or people of color at the moment. I was thinking about my life and if I was going to see my brother again and if I was going to eat again.”
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