Ex-officer arraigned on charges of kicking handcuffed man - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Ex-officer arraigned on charges of kicking handcuffed man

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Former Hartford Police Sgt. Sean Spell appeared in court on Wednesday as part of an excessive force investigation. (WFSB) Former Hartford Police Sgt. Sean Spell appeared in court on Wednesday as part of an excessive force investigation. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -

A retired Connecticut police sergeant charged with kicking a handcuffed man in the head has been arraigned on misdemeanor assault and breach of peace charges.

Sean Spell, who faces assault and breach of peace charges, did not enter a plea during his brief appearance Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court. He remains free on bail and is due back in court next month.

A police dashboard camera video released in October appears to show Spell stomping on the head of a handcuffed man on the ground during an arrest that following a car chase.

When the chase finally ended, Spell said Diaz was spitting blood and bouncing around. He was appearing to be high on PCP and acting like "an absolute zombie," according to court documents.

"I used my right foot forcefully onto the lower back side of Diaz's head, and forced him to the ground. Diaz momentarily went down, but still wouldn't lay prone, however, he stopped spitting blood," Spell said, according to court documents. 

Spell's initial intuitions were right because PCP and cocaine were later found in Diaz's system. A lawyer for Diaz has denied that has client was spitting blood.   

Cour documents show Spell immediately realized it because moments later, he went to West Hartford officers asking to look at the footage. Three days later, Spell texted an inspector at the Hartford Judicial Branch, wanting to talk about the incident.

"You can't abuse your power like that," neighbor Gladys Cruz said. 

After the arrest, Diaz had a 4-inch cut and had to get his head stapled. Spell retired from the force and is facing charges. His attorney didn't return calls From Eyewitness News.

Eyewitness News went to Diaz's Hartford home. While he suggested Eyewitness News talk to his attorney, his neighbors stand by him.

"It hurts me because I'm black. I'm Spanish and I don't know if it's about that. But, it has to stop," Cruz said. "He's human, no matter what he's done."

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.