News 5 Investigates

May 13, 2014 9:14 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Woman alleges police used excessive force during arrest

A Woodland Park woman says while being questioned for flipping someone off, an officer slammed her face into the ground and fractured her arm before placing her in handcuffs.

News 5 uncovered the officer at the center of this investigation has been in trouble with the department before.

Cortney Rocchi sent News 5 a picture she claims was taken the day after Woodland Park police arrested her. It started when officers received a call that Cortney and her friend showed their middle fingers to another girl in a restaurant parking lot.

Police went to Cortney's apartment to get her side of the story.

"The officers are asking me questions and I answered them," Cortney said. "Then they asked me to go outside and were being rude and I asked the cop to stop being rude to me."

Cortney says officers continued asking her questions outside, but when she asked to go back into her apartment, she says things took a turn for the worse.

" I asked them if I could go inside and they stepped in front of the door and told me to put my hands behind my back," she said. "I asked them why and they pretty much took me down and threw me onto the ground."

The arrest was not captured on tape, but roomates captured video moments later showing Officer Brian Martinez on-scene, the officer who Cortney alleges injured her.

"I had a lot of bruising and swelling around my wrist," she said. "I had some cuts and stuff. He basically shoved my face into the ground and I was yelling at him to get off of me because he was hurting me and he's a lot bigger than I am."

Cortney's mother, Theresa is outraged at how her daughter says she was treated.

"I could not believe somebody that is supposed to be protecting our community could be that physical with somebody who's done nothing wrong," Theresa said. "It's unbelievable."

Theresa filed a complaint with the police department.

Woodland Park police confirm they have launched an internal investigation into the matter, but could not comment further since the investigation is ongoing.
Since Jan. of 2013, there have been 8 complaints filed against officers for breaking department policies. 2 of the complaints were found to be true and warranted action, one of which involved Officer Martinez.

Martinez had a complaint filed against him last year for allegedly being "rude" to a citizen, nothing compared to the allegations he now faces.

Theresa is asking the Woodland Park Police Department to conduct a full review of her daughter's case, and wants Officer Martinez fired.

"I think his badge should be taken and that he shouldn't be able to work in law enforcement ever again," Theresa said. "I think he should be punished like a regular citizen would be punished for what he's done."

Theresa would also like the police department to reimburse her for her daughter's medical expenses.

Officer Martinez remains on the force pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

Cortney faces charges of harassment and resisting arrest. She has a court date scheduled for June 11. Cortney does not have a criminal record in Colorado. The only charges she has faced in the past involved a traffic citation from 2011.

No word yet on when the internal investigation into Officer Martinez will be complete.



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