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Loveland police body-worn camera shows officer punching woman after she spit at him

The officer was terminated from his position and the woman faces a third-degree assault charge
Loveland Officer Russell Maranto
Posted at 3:20 PM, Jun 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-15 18:36:39-04

UPDATE | June 15 — On June 15, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office said based on evidence it collected from the case and the subsequent investigation, it decided it had probable cause to bring forth a charge of third-degree assault against former Loveland police officer Russell Maranto. Maranto is accused of punching a woman who spit at him at a hospital.

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LOVELAND, Colo. — Body-camera footage was released from an incident in which a Loveland police officer punched a woman who had spit at him in a hospital room, according to the police department and video.

Russell Maranto, 28, was terminated in May after he reportedly hit the woman in the face. The Larimer County District Attorney’s Office has not yet decided if it will file criminal charges against Maranto, who was hired by the Loveland Police Department on June 6, 2022. He previously worked for the Montrose Police Department and the Wyoming Department of Corrections.

The woman, identified as Angelia Hall, 59, has been charged with third-degree assault, which is a class 1 misdemeanor. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said she does not have a home address.

Loveland Police Department

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The 90-minute body-worn camera footage is available to watch on the police department's YouTube. Viewer discretion is advised, as the video contains aggressive language.

The incident began on May 20 around 8:30 p.m. in the area of N. Garfield Avenue and E. 29th Street. Police had received multiple reports that an incoherent woman was wandering around in traffic.

When the initial responding officer, identified in this story as Officer 1, arrived at the scene, he found Hall holding sheets of music in a parking lot. She pointed out the lack of sidewalks to the officer and spoke in rhymes. Meanwhile, Officer 1 asked how he could help and encouraged her to stay out of the street so she didn't get hit by a car. He asked if she needed medical help, but she did not respond, as seen in the bodycam footage. Officer 1 spoke calmly throughout the body-camera footage and did not touch Hall in the parking lot. She repeatedly said she lived in a free country and could walk and sing wherever she wanted.

About eight and a half minutes into the video, Officer Maranto arrived at the scene. He approached Hall and reached for her arm, and she responded, saying, "Don't f***ing touch me, dude," according to the video. Maranto asked for her ID and she again warned him not to touch her. When he reached for her arm again, holding it, he told her, "Stop, don't fight."

Around the 9-minute, 15-second mark, Maranto told Hall she was being detained and he put her in protective custody. Hall asked for a reason as she was handcuffed by Maranto. He asked her how much she had to drink that day. When Maranto tried to take the music sheets out of her hand, Hall crinkled them up and held them in her fists, as seen in the bodycam footage.

Loveland police body-worn camera shows officer punching woman after she spit at him

From this point forward, Hall swore often at the officers.

Officer 1 walked back to his patrol car and encountered two of the reporting parties on the way. They gave him videos showing Hall in the street. When he reached his patrol car, he drove it back to where Maranto stood with Hall. They then put Hall in the backseat as she yelled about her lack of freedom, as seen in the bodycam footage.

Maranto looked through Hall's backpack for identification and found an unofficial card that had her full name on it. The officers were able to confirm it was her.

The two officers agreed that they believed Hall was intoxicated because she was slurring her words, had trouble walking and they could smell alcohol on her.

Before leaving for the hospital, the officers worked to secure Hall in a seatbelt. She protested against going to the hospital and demanded to know the charges against her. Officer 1 said she was not facing any charges.

He got into the driver's seat and Maranto returned to his own patrol car. They both drove to the Medical Center of the Rockies. For almost the entire ride, Hall spoke illogically and cursed at police. Officer 1 replied a few times, saying things like "That isn't very nice," but otherwise did not engage, as heard in the bodycam footage.

At the 34:50 mark in the video, Officer 1 and Maranto arrived at the hospital. After they checked Hall's pockets, they walked into the emergency department. Both officers appeared calm at this point.

During a brief wait for a hospital room, the trio stood in the hall and the officers tried to ask Hall about her interest in music.

Around the 42-minute mark, they entered a hospital room. A hospital staff member asked what was going on and Officer 1 said, "EC hold," meaning emergency commitment hold. Hall interrupted, saying the nurse asked her, followed by a string of expletives. The nurse warned Hall that she wouldn't tolerate that kind of language. Hall said she wouldn't tolerate that she can't walk down the street. She leaned forward as she spoke with the nurse, as seen in the video.

Loveland Officer Russell Maranto
Loveland Officer Russell Maranto is seen on footage from a fellow officer's body-worn camera on May 20, 2023. Maranto is accused of punching a woman in the face after she spit at him in a hospital room.

Maranto was seen spotting something behind Hall in the chair and reached over and grabbed it. It was the sheet music Hall had had when she was put into custody. Hall demanded it back and Officer 1 explained per hospital policy, she couldn't have any property with her.

Around 43:18 in the footage, Hall is seen spitting directly on the ground at the nurse's feet. The nurse stood up, demanded that Hall not spit or yell anymore, and said "You can calm yourself down. I will not sit here.”

At some point shortly after this, the nurse left the room.

Maranto told Hall the hospital was trying to help her and she responded, "f**k you." She lifted her knee toward his groin and Maranto warned her that if she kicked him, he would fight back.

At 44:15, Officer 1 appeared to see Hall prepare to spit because he said, "Don't spit" immediately before Hall was seen spitting on Maranto's chest. Maranto is seen in the footage punching the left side of her face. Hall murmured, "f**king piece of s***," as Officer 1 said, “Hey, Maranto, chill. Back off. Back off, I can do it.” Maranto stepped away from Hall and whispered, "f***." Officer 1 told him to step outside the hospital room, which he did.

Hall became more and more upset, saying “I want video of that. He f***king punched me in the face."

At 44:46, Officer 1 used his radio to ask for a supervisor and officer to respond to the hospital. At some point after the punch, Maranto also called his supervisor.

Hall yelled about not being able to fight back because of the handcuffs and "he's punching me in the face," though Officer 1 was just holding her shoulder to keep her seated and Maranto was no longer in the room. She continued screaming as Officer 1 tried to calm her down, the video shows.

At 46:22, Hall spat at Officer 1's feet and cursed at him. Officer 1 later said he didn't think anything actually came out of her mouth in this instance. He told Hall that if she kept spitting, she'd have to wear a spit hood. When she spit again, he, along with one other person from the hospital, put the hood on her.

A doctor walked into the room as Hall yelled about being punched. The doctor said Hall didn't need to be in the ER and could go to jail. Officer 1 replied that the officers did not have any charges on her. Hall continued screaming about wanting to file a report and to know why she was at the hospital. She demanded to know where cameras were and when Officer 1 pointed to his body-worn camera, he said it shows the punch, but also her spitting at the officer, the video shows.

Hall said she felt like she was being treated like Karen Garner, a then-73-year-old who was violently arrested by Loveland police in 2020 (resulting in a $3 million settlement), or Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, who was in custody in a police car parked on train tracks when the vehicle was hit by a Platteville train.

Officer 1 noted that Hall never complained of pain, but did request an ice pack and asked if her face was swollen. However, hospital staff would not help her because she was uncooperative.

A supervisor with the police department had arrived by this point and tried to gather information from Hall, who was not responding coherently.

Officer 1 and the supervisor left the hospital room to review what had happened. Officer 1 described how she was uncooperative and detailed the spitting incidents.

"He told me ultimately he was just trying to get her face away, but he kinda, like, hit her across the face," Officer 1 told the supervisor.

“I’m not gonna lie to ya, I think I need a — a tap out as well after all that’s happened… I’m just kind of overwhelmed," he continued.

The supervisor confirmed he was going to pull Officer 1 off the case. He asked Officer 1 if he thought Maranto's actions were excessive.

“I mean, she just spit on him, right, and that probably made him a little mad," Officer 1 responded. "I mean, who wouldn’t. I think he was ultimately just trying to get her face away to the side, but I think he was a little hard, yes. But I do believe he was acting in a way of trying to not let her spit on him anymore, like trying to push her face away from him, but I just took that as like, hey, that’s a little too excessive. That’s why I stepped in, ultimately. I knew he was over the top at that point and I got ‘em separated.”

“You did good by stopping and intervening," the supervisor replied.

That evening, Officer Maranto was placed on administrative leave. Around the same time, Hall was medically cleared — she had had minor injuries from the punch — and brought to the Larimer County Jail on a charge of assaulting a peace officer.

The day after the incident, Loveland Police Chief Timothy Doran contacted the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office and requested a criminal investigation.

On the morning of May 23, Maranto was terminated from the police department. Chief Doran said Maranto was still in the one-year probationary period each Loveland officer must complete before becoming a full-fledged officer.

In a statement posted on YouTube on Friday, Chief Doran said he wanted to show the body-worn camera to be as transparent as possible.

“First and foremost, I want to apologize to the community for the actions of our former officer not upholding the standard of our policing profession," he said.

He encouraged people to watch the full video to see the positive aspects of the interaction, including Officer 1's kindness and quick reaction after the incident.

Chief Doran said the police department is filled with brave and respectful officers who all agree that inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated or downplayed.


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