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Police brutality alleged in 2011 arrest
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The Ceres City Council recently rejected a claim for monetary damages from a husband and wife who say police physically assaulted them during an Aug. 13, 2011 car stop.

John and Selina Walker filed a claim in February alleging Mr. Walker was punched by officers for no reason during the arrest and that he was denied medical treatment. The claim was rejected on March 26.

The four officers named in the report are Coey Henson, Brian Peterson, Jeremy Lewis and Dirk Niewenhuis.

The Walkers were traveling northbound on Mitchell Road on Aug. 13, 2011 when they were pursued by an officer onto westbound Whitmore Avenue. The Walkers pulled over into the Save Mart Shopping Center and were surrounded by patrol cars.

Deputy Chief of Police Mike Borges said Mr. Walker was being pulled over because a neighbor alleged that Mr. Walker had just attempted to run him over with his car. Police found the Walker car at Mitchell Road and Garrison Street. The victim later decided that he did not want to prosecute.

Police also were looking for Mr. Walker because he was suspected of burning his wife's thigh with a lit cigarette on Aug. 8. Despite her visible burn, Mrs. Walker decided not to press charges.

Mrs. Walker wrote in her claim: "The police officers proceeded to tell my husband and I to put our hands up. We did as told. They then instructed my husband to get out of the car. He stated that he couldn't get out because the door was blocked. As he was trying to tell the officers he couldn't get out, they started punching him through the window. I started screaming that my husband was not resisting, but that he was pinned in by the seat belt and the door. These police officers kept punching my husband over and over again. After repeated blows, a Ceres police officer began to taser my husband repeatedly. My husband was still not fighting back, but screaming in pain, and begging for them to stop."

She said when she pulled out her cell phone to record the officers "an officer ... pointed his gun directly in my face and told me to drop my phone. I did as told."

According to Selina Walker, officers "continued to beat" Mr. Walker through the window "while trying to yank him out of the car" even though he was buckled in.

She claims the belt gave loose and that the officers pulled her husband through the half-open window and took him to the ground to continue "the vicious attack."

Mrs. Walker, who stated she is a 250-pound disabled woman, also claims police were rough with her. "An officer proceeded to yank and twist my arm high up behind my back, and when the hand cuffs wouldn't fit he forced my arms together the extra inches necessary to close both cuffs."

She also alleges that she was threatened with jail time if she would "not agree to being a victim." When she asked what the charges would be, an officer replied, "Don't worry, I'm sure we can think of something," she alleges.

City Attorney Mike Lyions had no comment on the case but said the "facts would sort their way out" if it goes to court.

Mike Borges couldn't speak to the claim but said that Mr. Walker was charged with resisting arrest, violating the terms of parole and spousal abuse relating to an Aug. 8 2011 incident.