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Ex-officer arraigned on charges of kicking handcuffed man


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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A retired Connecticut police sergeant charged with kicking a handcuffed man in the head was arraigned Wednesday on misdemeanor assault and breach of peace charges.

Sean Spell did not enter a plea during his brief appearance in Hartford Superior Court. He remains free on $1,000 bond.

The charges filed against him earlier this month stem from a June encounter with a suspect following a chase that led officers through Hartford and West Hartford in pursuit of a stolen Toyota Camry. A police dashboard camera appears to show Spell stomping on the head of Emilio Diaz as he was lying on the ground in handcuffs.

Spell, 46, retired as the excessive force investigation was underway and he was charged earlier this month by the office of the chief state's attorney.

He said in an incident report that he used force on Diaz after the suspect refused to stop spitting blood at Spell or comply with other orders. A lawyer for Diaz has denied that has client was spitting blood.

Diaz and another suspect are facing charges including resisting arrest and drug possession. Diaz tested positive for PCP, a hallucinogen, and other drugs following his arrest, The Hartford Courant reported. A mug shot of Diaz showed a cut in his head that required five staples.

Spell is due back in court on Jan. 18.

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