The Provo Police Department has concluded that two officers acted properly during the arrest of a Provo man who complained he was physically abused.
In a brief statement issued Friday, Chief Swen Nielsen said, "It is my position that both officers involved in the arrest acted lawfully and reasonably, given the totality of the circumstances."Nielsen's opinion was based on a report by Capt. Duane Fraser, who investigated DeLain Giles' claim that officers used excessive force during his arrest March 23. In his statement, Nielsen called the investigation "careful."
Giles faces a charge of interfering with a public servant, a class B misdemeanor. He is scheduled to be arraigned in 4th Circuit Court on April 9. Giles' attorney, Robert Moody, said his client will enter an innocent plea and proceed to a pretrial hearing.
Moody would not discuss a possible future court action regarding the case. But he said he and Giles are "looking into other additional remedies that may be appropriate." Giles said he suffered injuries to his lower back, neck, shoulders and back of the head.Giles, 37, claims two plain-clothes officers "roughed me up" in the parking lot of the East Lake Care Center, 1001 N. 500 West, at about 11 p.m. Giles said he and a friend, Mark McDevitt, were talking in the parking lot when two officers approached them. Giles had just dropped off a car for his wife, Vicki, who works in the care center. He said he was smoking a cigarette before getting a ride home from McDevitt.
Giles said the officers started asking him questions like, "How do I know you own this car?" and "How do I know your wife works here?" Giles said he attempted to go into the building to get his wife, but was jumped from behind.
Nielsen said the officers asked both Giles and McDevitt for identification. McDevitt complied, he said, but Giles refused several requests and persisted in his attempt to walk to the building. The chief said the law requires people to show identification to police when asked to do so.
The chief said Giles then either pushed or brushed past one officer and was grabbed by that officer. A struggle ensued and the other officer joined in, he said. Nielsen said all three men then got tangled up and fell down on top of each other.
"That's what led to the arrest," Nielsen said. The incident would have been avoided had Giles shown the officers some identification, he said.
Fraser said neither man was suspected of a crime when officers approached them. He said there has been a rash of auto burglaries in Provo, and officers stopped to see what they were doing.
McDevitt was not arrested.