An incident between officers with the Kokomo Police Department and a Kokomo resident during the Haynes Apperson Festival last week at Foster Park has made its way onto social media.
The video, posted on YouTube and Facebook by the handle The Kokomo Reporter [www.facebook.com/TheKokomoReporter], appears to show Jonathan Cantu laying on the ground in front of a stage and three KPD officers. The video also shows one of the officers kneeing Cantu six times while the other officers try to restrain the 25-year-old.
Cantu was later arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and resisting law enforcement.
Officer Alex Toth, one of the officers involved, stated in his police narrative of the incident that he responded to Foster Park around 3 p.m. Thursday, July 4, in reference to an unwelcome guest.
That resident, later identified as Cantu, allegedly was "threatening" and "antagonizing" members of the sound crew and staff, Toth noted, and Cantu also supposedly told people around him that he was the devil.
Witnesses also told police that at one point, Cantu tried to get onto the stage through the VIP section and was confrontational with several people in attendance, Toth noted.
Soon after arriving on scene, Toth noticed and began to walk toward Officer Drew Wallsmith and Cantu, who was at that time laying on his stomach and apparently clinching a broken piece of wood in his left hand, Toth indicated in his narrative.
The piece of wood supposedly had a pointed piece sticking out of the top, court records stated, and police thought the piece of wood could have been used "as a weapon against officers on scene."
Toth indicated that he gave approximately five strikes to the upper back and body of Cantu to try to loosen his grip on the piece of wood, but the attempt was ineffective. The officer said he then delivered six knee strikes to the same part of Cantu's body, and he was then able to loosen Cantu's left arm enough to secure it behind his back.
Once Cantu's left arm was behind his back, the narrative stated that Toth was then able to grab the piece of wood and throw it away from Cantu's reach. Cantu was then placed in handcuffs and taken to the Howard County Jail.
Cantu is currently out on $8,000 bond, and he has an initial hearing in the matter at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 22, in Howard County Superior Court 3.
As part of the Indiana Access to Public Records Act, the Tribune has requested all records and reports relating to this incident. This includes all body camera footage from the two officers directly involved and any, if at all, administrative actions taken by KPD in relation to the incident.
The department has seven days to respond.