AURORA, Colo. (AP) — A police officer in suburban Denver is facing a felony charge after allegedly punching a disabled woman who was walking her dog outside his apartment complex while he was off-duty.
Aurora officer Douglas Harroun, 32, was charged with third-degree assault against an at-risk adult following Wednesday’s encounter, Sentinel Colorado reported. He is represented by the state public defender’s office, which does not comment on open cases.
According to an arrest affidavit, Harroun and his wife were driving up to the apartment complex as the disabled woman was walking her unleashed dog in the middle of the road, forcing Harroun to drive slowly behind her as he approached the parking garage.
The woman yelled at Harroun for following her, and he and his wife then got into a verbal argument with her, according to the affidavit. Witnesses told investigators Harroun then punched the woman in the face and four for five additional times in the head after she fell to the ground.
The 49-year-old woman, who has a chronic pain disorder that affects the nerves in half of her body, was taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.
Harroun has been suspended indefinitely without pay, according to the police department, which is opening an internal affairs investigation.
Harroun was hired in 2020 and was placed on paid administrative leave after his involvement in a non-fatal shooting while he was on-duty New Year’s Eve, according to the department. He was still on administrative leave from that shooting at the time of his arrest following Wednesday’s confrontation.