Provo police are investigating allegations that two plainclothes police officers used excessive force during the arrest of a 37-year-old man last Saturday.
DeLain Giles, Provo, claims two officers physically abused him about 11 p.m. while he and a friend were standing in the parking lot of the East Lake Care Center, 1001 N. 500 West.Capt. Duane Fraser, who is handling the internal investigation, said Giles has filed a formal complaint about the incident. Fraser said he is in the process of interviewing witnesses and his report should be complete early next week.
Giles said he and Mark McDevitt were standing between their two cars talking when two men in a white car approached them. Giles said he had just dropped off the car for his wife, Vicki, who is a nurse at the care center. Giles said he wanted to smoke a cigarette before getting into McDevitt's car for a ride home.
Giles said one officer asked him, "How do I know you own that car? How do I know your wife works here? How do I know you ain't stealing hubcaps?"
Fraser said the men were not suspected of a crime when officers approached them. The captain said there have been a rash of auto burglaries in Provo and police stopped to see what the two men were doing.
Giles said he told the officer he could prove it was his car by summoning his wife from the care center.
Fraser said the officer did not want Giles to enter the building and that Giles hit or pushed the officer. Giles said he didn't hit or push the officer, but was jumped from behind as he walked toward the building. Giles said both men threw him to the ground where he was handcuffed.
"They roughed me up," he said. "They didn't tell me what I was getting arrested for."
Giles said he didn't know the two men were police officers until he was taken to the county jail by a third officer in uniform.
Giles said he was kneed in the lower back, shoulders, neck and back of the head. He said he has been unable to work because of stiffness, bruises and difficulty walking.
A court clerk said one count of interfering with a public servant, a Class B misdemeanor, was filed against Giles Thursday. A court date has not been set, the clerk said.
McDevitt was not arrested.