Records: Officer charged in assault had history of citations

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OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — A white officer accused of beating a hospitalized black teenager had been suspended at least four times for improper conduct during his 17-year career with a Louisiana police department, according to records obtained by a newspaper.

The records detailed by The Lafayette Daily Advertiser this week show that Opelousas Police Sgt. Tyron Andrepont, 49, had a history of disciplinary actions, including for use of force, prior to being charged criminally with five counts of malfeasance in office in the assault of Jonah Coleman.

The 18-year-old had been admitted to a hospital at the request of his parents in October 2019 and was restrained in a hospital bed when Andrepont allegedly hit him in the face and held him in a choke hold, court records show. A camera in the treatment room recorded Andrepont repeatedly assaulting Coleman as the teen he tries again and again to get out of the bed, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Andrepont was released on a $25,000 bond following his arrest on Tuesday and was ordered to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family. He also is not allowed to be in possession of a firearm, according to court records. He remains on paid leave.

His past disciplinary actions include a daylong suspension in 2006 for offensive conduct, a weeklong suspension for unauthorized use of force in 2009 and a four-day suspension for unbecoming conduct in 2015, The Advertiser said, citing records in his personnel file.

Andrepont also received a written reprimand for improper behavior in 2019, and was accused of using excessive force during the arrest of a black minister in 2010, the newspaper said. The minister sued Andrepont in that case, but no disciplinary action was taken.

By: Associated Press

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