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Bodycam Images Released: 75-Year-Old Man Tased By Idaho Springs Officer Nicholas Hanning

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) -- The Idaho Springs Police Department has released bodycam images from an officer accused of tasing a 75-year-old man inside his apartment. Officer Nicholas Hanning is facing assault charges.

Nicholas Hanning (charged, Idaho Springs Officer, from 5th Judicial DA)
Nicholas Hanning (credit: District Attorney's Office)

Hanning said Michael Clark was armed with a sword-like weapon and refused to drop it. But newly-released images from Hanning's body-worn camera show Clark had put down the weapon before he was tased. And Clark's lawyer claims Hanning also choked, kicked and punched him.

Clark's lawyer says the assault "caused him heart complications, followed by a stroke, followed by carotid surgery on his neck where he was choked, followed by a burst appendix."

Michael Clark 2 (hospitalized, Idaho Sprgs Officer, from family attorney)
Michael Clark (credit: family attorney)

Hanning's arrest affidavit was released Tuesday and included images from his bodycam and the camera worn by a second officer.

Screenshot sword
(credit: Idaho Springs Police)

On the night of May 30, Hanning responded to a report that a man had punched his female neighbor in the face in the 3200 block of Riverside Drive.

According to the affidavit, Hanning first spoke to the alleged victim.

"He was banging on the wall, 'Shut the **** up!' and I was literally in here sleeping. So I went out there and knocked on his door. He ******* knocked me in my face," the woman told police.

"I got knocked the **** out. He busted all my ****," she said.

Hanning and a second officer went next door to question the neighbor.

In the bodycam video, you see Clark, who was shirtless, open the door.  According to the affidavit, he yelled, "What do you want?"

Screenshot answers door
(credit: Idaho Springs Police)

There are a few comments that are unintelligible, then Hanning entered Clark's apartment and forced him against a wall.

Hanning then shouted, "Put it down, mother******!" and began to back away.

In the bodycam video you can see Clark holding what is described as a "Hawaiian sword."

A second officer, who was pointing her service weapon at Clark, also yelled at him to drop it. Clark placed the sword on a shelf.

Screenshot sword on shelf
(credit: Idaho Springs Police)

The officers order Clark to come out of the apartment but he refused and complained about the neighbor banging on the wall.

"I thought they were going to come through the wall," Clark said.

Screenshot 2021-from offc summers
(credit: Idaho Springs Police)

Without additional warning, Hanning fired his Taser, striking Clark in his abdomen and pelvis area.

Clark fell straight backward, struck a dining room chair, and hit the ground, unconscious.

The whole encounter lasted less than 30 seconds.

Screenshot on the floow
(credit: Idaho Springs Police)

Clark was visibly bleeding from a cut above his right eye and Hanning told him, "You're under arrest right now."

Clark asked, "What's going on? I've done nothing wrong. What did I do?"

"You punched that girl... then you answered the door with a freaking machete," Hanning answered.

"I attacked nobody... I was just laying in bed," Clark stated.

An ambulance arrived and, according to the affidavit, Hanning admitted to a paramedic that he kicked Clark in the knee and punched him "somewhere in the back of the head."

Clark's lawyer, Sarah Schielke of The Life & Liberty Law Office, says Clark spent the day of May 30 putting American flags on the graves of fallen soldiers buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

"He would end the day tased, tackled, kicked, and choked by Idaho Springs Police officers while he was unarmed and unclothed, inside his own apartment," Schielke stated.

She said that six weeks later, Clark remained hospitalized and in poor health.

Hanning faces one charge of third degree assault on an at-risk adult, which is a class 6 felony.

The 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office plans to release the bodycam video in its entirety July 29.

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