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Surveillance Video Released Of Alleged Assault By Bartlesville Police

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The handcuffed man is being placed on a wheelchair by Bartlesville police. The handcuffed man is being placed on a wheelchair by Bartlesville police.
A Bartlesville officer appears to be choking the handcuffed man. A Bartlesville officer appears to be choking the handcuffed man.

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma – News On 6 has obtained surveillance video that allegedly shows two Bartlesville police officers assaulting a patient at a hospital.

The video was recorded at Jane Phillips Medical Center in September, 2011 as officers Stacy Neafus and Sonya Worthington were arresting a reportedly combative patient who was possible suicidal.

The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise newspaper and News On 6 separately requested copies of the video under the Oklahoma Open Records Act.  When those requests were denied, the newspaper asked a Washington County judge to order the Bartlesville Police Department to release the video.  The judge made that order last week. 

The city obeyed the judge's order and released the video after the newspaper agreed not to seek legal fees from the city.  News On 6 again requested a copy of the video and received it on Monday, March 19, 2012.

The 45-minute video, which has no audio, shows Neafus and Worthington and a third officer sometimes using force on the patient.  It also shows the patient appears to be combative at times.

Most of the tape shows the officers standing away from him as he seems to yell at them.

He's seen pacing and at times, kicking a chair and banging his head on the window and at one point, seems to spit at them.

He seems to be ignoring the officer's instructions to sit down and many of the physical interactions seem to show the officers restraining him.

However, at one point, it appears Officer Sonya Worthington slaps the man, then has him in a headlock and is seen twisting his neck while he is still handcuffed.

She has since been fired and has been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. She has pleaded not guilty.

After that, the man continues to talk, even yell at the officers. At one point he lunges at them, they do not respond physically. However, when he tries to brush past an officer in what looks like an attempt to leave the room, he is shoved backward onto the bed.

After that, he's seen pacing again and lashing out verbally. He even tries to get his handcuffed hands down behind his legs in an effort to get his hands in front of his body. But the officers use physical force to stop him and get his cuffs back where they belong.

Not long after that, Officer Stacy Neafus is seen pushing the man over a metal chair. He has also been fired and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery and pleaded not guilty.

Less than 15 minutes later, the man is put into a chair and wheeled out of the hospital to be transported elsewhere for observation.

One other officer on the tape was let go from his job, but not charged and the fourth was put on administrative leave during the investigation, but was put back on active duty.

News On 6 posted a 5-minute segment of the video.

A class action lawsuit was filed by eight current and former Bartlesville police officers against the City, claiming illegal and improper employment practices. The two officers fired and facing charges in this case, are among them.

One of the complaints is showing the surveillance video under the guise of training. They claim since it led to their dismissal, it's part of their private personnel file.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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