Police arrest at Haynes Apperson Festival

Screenshot from video

A Kokomo man involved in an incident with Kokomo Police Department officers during a concert at the Haynes Apperson Festival at Foster Park on July 4 was holding a wooden cross prior to the confrontation, an object police claim could've been used as a weapon.

A second officer narrative describing the July 4 arrest provided on Friday by KPD as part of a Tribune Indiana Access to Public Records Act request states that responding officer Drew Wallsmith was dispatched to Foster Park at the request of Howard County Emergency Management Agency officials, who told Wallsmith that they "wanted the psycho with the cross removed from the park" because he was ignoring their commands and refused to leave.

Jonatan Cantu, 25, was also allegedly trying to enter the VIP section to get onto a concert stage, calling himself the "devil" and disturbing members of the sound crew and staff, EMA officials told police. 

Upon arrival, Wallsmith was then directed toward Cantu, who was standing near the concert stage and holding up a wooden cross, the police report indicated. 

Wallsmith also stated that he approached Cantu and told the man to leave, but Cantu shook his head. Wallsmith then told Cantu to leave again, the narrative indicated, but Wallsmith said that Cantu verbally refused. 

The police report then indicated that Wallsmith tried to grab the wooden cross away from Cantu because the officer believed it could have been used as a possible weapon, but Cantu clinched the item to his chest. 

Wallsmith then tripped Cantu to the ground, the officer stated in the narrative, and he began to give verbal commands for Cantu to put his hands behind his back and drop the wooden cross before removing his police Taser and delivering a short duration drive-stun to the back of Cantu's body. 

Cantu continued to hold onto the cross while on the ground, Wallsmith stated in his report, and that's when Officer Alex Toth arrived on scene.

In Toth's narrative, the officer also noted that Cantu was holding something wooden in his hand, but he said the piece of wood supposedly had a pointed piece sticking out of the top, court records stated, a detail not included in Wallsmith's narrative.

Like Wallsmith, Toth stated that the the piece of wood could have been used "as a weapon against officers on scene." 

Neither narrative indicated how or when the cross became broken from the time Wallsmith noticed the item to the time Toth became involved. 

Toth also noted in his narrative 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, police reports 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. 
 
Video of the incident was posted on Youtube and Facebook by the handle The Kokomo Reporter. 
 

Cantu was charged with misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement and criminal trespass, 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 also requested body camera footage from all officers involved in the incident, which has not yet been provided by KPD.

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