2 Mesa officers disciplined for beating case; 2 others appeal rulings

Apr 25, 2019, 4:11 AM | Updated: 2:06 pm

PHOENIX – Two Mesa police officers involved in a use-of-force incident last year have been disciplined, and two others are appealing rulings against them, authorities said Tuesday.

The action was in response to the May 23 beating of an unarmed man in an apartment complex hallway, an incident that made headlines after disturbing surveillance camera footage and officer-worn body camera video was released.

Officer Rudy Monarrez received a written reprimand for violating the department’s code of conduct, and Lt. Timothy Wahlberg “sustained non-discipline corrective action,” Mesa Police Department spokeswoman Irene Mahoney told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email.

The department did not respond to a request to provide further details about the discipline.

Mahoney said the department couldn’t comment on the other two officers while their grievances were active, and she didn’t know when the appeals would be completed.

Three other officers investigated were cleared of wrongdoing, Mahoney said.

The case was the first of four incidents that came to light last June in which Mesa officers were accused of using excessive force.

It occurred when officers responding to a domestic disturbance call at the El Rancho del Sol Apartments confronted Robert Johnson in a corridor.

They frisked him and did not find any weapons before directing him to sit down while he was talking on his cellphone.

After Johnson leaned against a wall, several officers converged and grabbed him. At least one of the officers can be see in the video punching Johnson in the face multiple times.

Johnson was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and hindering prosecution.

Within a week of that incident going public in early June, three other videos documenting alleged police brutality in Mesa came out.

The charges against Johnson were dropped June 14.

The Scottsdale Police Department investigated Johnson’s case and determined in August that “the use of force was legally authorized and justified” under state law.

The FBI also launched an investigation of several Mesa police incidents in August, including the one involving Johnson. No results from that probe have been reported.

In November, Johnson made claim of nearly $2 million against the city of Mesa and eight officers over damages caused by the beating.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Airbnb Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Airbnb makes party ban policy permanent, says it had big impact in Arizona

Airbnb said Tuesday its party ban has been so effective, especially in Arizona, that the vacation rental platform is making the policy permanent.
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police shoot armed suspect near 52nd Street and Thomas Road

Phoenix police shot and critically wounded a man they said pointed a gun at them during a confrontation Monday evening.
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Goodyear Police Department)...

1 killed at Goodyear home; police search for suspect

Police are searching for a suspect who fled the scene of a homicide at a Goodyear home early Tuesday.
11 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Here’s a map of Fourth of July events taking place across metro Phoenix

Fourth of July is one of the staples of summer and there are plenty of events occurring around the metro Phoenix area where you can celebrate America's birthday.
11 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon NPS)...

Grand Canyon National Park tourism generated $710 million for local economy in 2021

Tourism in Grand Canyon National Park brought in $710 million for the local economy in 2021, according to a report released Monday.
11 hours ago
(University of Arizona Photo/Chris Richards)...
Kevin Stone

UArizona offers free tuition for Native American undergraduate students

The University of Arizona is making undergraduate education free for Native American students at the Tucson campus.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
2 Mesa officers disciplined for beating case; 2 others appeal rulings