Sheriff’s deputy punched a restrained teenager in the mouth, breaking his jaw

(9 NEWS)   An Adams County Sheriff’s deputy punched a restrained teenager in the mouth, breaking his jaw, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by 9NEWS.

David Morrow turned himself into Glendale Police around 4 p.m. Tuesday and was released on bond later in the evening.

Morrow is facing criminal charges of child abuse, second-degree assault, tampering with a witness and official oppression. Morrow had been suspended without pay after being accused of assaulting a 15-year-old boy on June 12, according to Sgt. Terrance O’Neill, the spokesperson for the Adams County Sheriff’s Department

According to the affidavit, the teenager was taken into custody at a party on the 8700 block of Welby Road in Adams County.

9NEWS spoke to TJ Arce, 21, who lives at the house and hosted the party to celebrate his birthday.

“I have parties every once in awhile,” he said. “Some uninvited people showed up, started causing problems.”

Morrow and five other deputies were called to a disturbance at Arce’s house. The address is familiar to Adams County deputies, who have been called there repeatedly. Graffiti has been painted on an outdoor shed by neighborhood young people, who call themselves “The 88 Block.”

While most of the party-goers scrambled, Arce and his 15-year-old friend remained.

“He was pretty intoxicated that night,” Arce said.

So intoxicated he couldn’t say who his parents were, according to Arce.

Arce was arrested and his friend was taken into custody.

“He wasn’t listening to them. They told him to sit on the hood,” Arce said. “He’d stand up. And they got mad at him, shoved him back on the hood.”

The affidavit says the teenager had a blood alcohol level of .202 and was “verbally combative” with no visible injuries.

The teenager was placed into an ambulance with his hands and feet restrained. When the intoxicated juvenile refused to answer questions and was being belligerent, the affidavit says Morrow “struck him on the left side of his jaw with a closed fist.”

The affidavit goes on to say Morrow told the ambulance personnel: “Nobody saw anything, right?”

One of the ambulance workers replied, “Actually, he’s bleeding,” to which Morrow answered, “I guess I’ll have to figure that out.”

The affidavit says Murrow later supposedly said, “This has never happened before, it’s never going to happen again. I just lost my temper.”

The teenager was treated for intoxication and a broken jaw.

Charges were filed with the Adams County District Attorney’s office Tuesday afternoon.

Morrow has been a deputy since 2004. He was assigned to the patrol division.

During the investigation and prior to the filing of the charges, O’Neill says Morrow had been on paid administrative leave since June 22. He was placed on suspension without pay beginning Tuesday.

Crystal Adams, Arce’s mother, says her family has had other violent run-ins with other Adams County deputies.

Colorado court records show Adam’s son Justin was arrested for underage drinking in 2007, but the charge that was later dismissed. Adams gave 9NEWS photos of her son she claims were taken shortly after his arrest, showing visible injuries on his face, chin, and neck.

“They handcuffed him and started beating him,” Adams said. “He just kept screaming, ‘I’m a minor. I’m not resisting. I’m a minor.'”

Adams says her family kept quiet about what happened.

“I believe it’s not reported,” Adams said. “My child wouldn’t let me report it because he was afraid of the repercussions.”

Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr spoke to 9NEWS by telephone to address the charges against Morrow.


“On rare occasion, we’ll have law enforcement officers that are accused of and charged with a violation of Colorado law,” Darr said. “We always have a responsibility to make sure the investigation is done, that it’s complete, and that we do the right thing.”

“It’s not easy. It’s not a good day for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office,” Darr said. “We expect our people to be in compliance with Colorado law. We expect them to be a cut above, a step above. We expect them to be examples of good, lawful behavior. And I’ll tell you the vast majority of the time they are.”

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