A video is going viral of Kokomo Police Officers arresting a man allegedly causing a disturbance during the Haynes Apperson Festival.
On July 10 a video made its way onto YouTube, posted to the channel The Kokomo Reporter, depicting KPD officers arresting a man later identified as Jonatan Cantu, 25, in Foster Park during the Haynes Apperson Festival on July 4. In the video, which is 32 seconds long and doesn’t show what led up to the incident, an officer is shown delivering multiple knee strikes to Cantu as he’s on the ground. According to a probable cause affidavit, Cantu had been harassing individuals during the fair for “being the devil” and had attempted to make his way onto the park stage during a concert.
KPD officers began arriving on the scene shortly after 4 p.m. In a probable cause affidavit authored by Officer Alex Toth, he was dispatched to the park due to an unwelcome guest. Upon arrival, he observed Officer Drew Wallsmith with Cantu, who was on his stomach and “actively resisting,” and Toth made his way toward them.
Toth indicated in his probable cause affidavit that while Cantu was on his stomach he was “clinching a piece of broken wood in his left hand …. And it had a sharp pointed piece sticking out of the top.” That, wrote the officer, “easily could have been used as a weapon against officers on the scene.” In the video posted online it’s claimed the stick is a cross. This is unclear, and KPD did not return a request for comment seeking further details of the incident. In the video, an officer can be seen removing something from Cantu’s possession and throwing it to the side, but the video isn’t clear enough to discern the exact nature of the object.
According to court documents, Cantu “was not giving his hands up, putting them behind his back, letting go of the piece of wood, or complying with [officers]. He was given verbal commands to put [his] hands behind his back now, but he did not comply with the officers.” As a result, Toth “began to give closed fist distraction strikes” to Cantu’s back and upper side “to loosen his grip on the piece of wood.” The probable cause indicated about five of these strikes were delivered but were “ineffective.”
At this point, Toth began to deliver knee strikes, which are depicted in the video. As a result, the KPD officer wrote that he was able to “gain a position of advantage on [Cantu’s] arm” and eventually remove the wood from the 25-year-old’s possession. The court documents indicated Wallsmith was “delivering drive stuns with his department-issued X2 Taser in an attempt to gain compliance” at this time as well, and Wallsmith was able to gain control of Cantu’s right arm, allowing him to be handcuffed. He was transported to the Howard County jail without further incident.
Toth indicated in his report that once Cantu was in custody, he “asked if [Cantu] had any pain whatsoever, and he said ‘no.’”
Officers interviewed event organizers once Cantu was taken into custody. According to the probable cause affidavit, event staff began contacting security because the man was “threatening” them, indicating Cantu had attempted to make his way into the sound crew’s tent and was “causing issues.”
The officer interviewed Commissioner Paul Wyman, an event organizer, who told officers Cantu was “antagonizing” the sound crew/staff about “being the devil.” Wyman said he unsuccessfully attempted to ask Cantu to leave. Eventually, Cantu left the tent and made his way to the front of the stage. At that time, Cantu began “yelling things about God during the times the music stopped playing but was yelling at persons on the stage about being the devil when the music started again.” At one point, Paul stated Cantu made a move to get on the stage, going through the VIP section. Security intervened at this point.
Cantu was charged with criminal trespass, a class A misdemeanor, and resisting law enforcement, also a class A misdemeanor.
Video link above and full video link here: