Crime - Sacto 911

Rocklin officer acquitted of excessive force faces lawsuit in separate incident

A Rocklin police officer who was charged with excessive force – and later acquitted by a jury – is being sued over another incident in which he allegedly roughed up a suspect.

Officer Brad Alford, a 15-year veteran who was placed on administrative leave following a September 2017 incident in which he beat a DUI suspect with his baton, is being sued in federal court in Sacramento over an arrest he made one month before the DUI incident, which was captured on video.

In the previous incident, Rocklin resident Kristopher Stowe alleges Alford hit him in the face numerous times and threw him to the ground on Aug. 25, 2017.

That incident began after Stowe went for a walk after having a couple of drinks with his girlfriend’s father, then fell asleep after sitting down, the lawsuit says.

“He was awakened by Officer Alford,” according to the suit filed by Sacramento attorney Kellan Patterson. “When complying with Alford’s commands, Alford suddenly attempted to (throw) Stowe on the ground.

“During the tussle, Stowe was struck in the face multiple times.”

The lawsuit claims Alford later yanked the handcuffed suspect out of the back of his patrol car, forcing him to fall to the ground and requiring him to be taken to the hospital.

After going to the hospital, Alford took Stowe to the Placer County Jail for booking and grabbed him by the neck, bending him “back head to heel,” the suit says.

“Deputies rushed in and controlled Stowe by allowing him to sit back down in his seat,” the lawsuit says. “At the hands of Officer Alford, Stowe suffered injuries to his head, face, mouth, teeth, back and wrist.”

Charges against Stowe stemming from the arrest were later dropped.

Alford could not be reached for comment Monday. Rocklin police declined to comment on the lawsuit, but confirmed that Alford remains on administrative leave.

Alford was arrested days after the incident with the DUI suspect – Emilio Perez-Chavez – and charged with excessive force after fellow officers reported concerns over his actions. Alford went to trial and was acquitted by a Placer County Superior Court jury last May.

A month after the acquittal, the Placer County District Attorney’s office won a court order allowing the release of about 40 minutes of video from five camera angles showing the officer beating Perez-Chavez, who suffered a broken arm and finger.

The videos had been played for the jury, and the D.A’s office said that while it respected the jury’s verdict prosecutors “believe that the prosecution in the case was appropriate given the video evidence that was presented to the jury.”

Sacramento attorney Stewart Katz filed a claim against Rocklin on behalf of Perez-Chavez, and the city settled the matter for $249,000.

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Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and has covered a variety of issues, including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.