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Indianapolis officers charged in off-duty August beating

CBS affiliate WISH

INDIANAPOLIS--Two veteran Indianapolis police officers were arrested Wednesday for allegedly beating a man unconscious in a bar fight in August, reports CBS affiliate WISH.

John Serban, 40, and Michael Reiger, 46, face battery charges and have been suspended from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department without pay. Both men have been with the department for more than 15 years.

Surveillance video from the August incident allegedly shows one of the officers putting 29-year-old Bradford Bohanon into a choke hold until Bohanan became unconscious, according to court documents.

Then the other officer kicked or punched Bohanan.

The duo of off-duty officers then allegedly dragged the man outside the bar.

Bohanon, an Air Force veteran, says he's since watched the video.

"From seeing it, just had a gut-wrenching feeling. They could have killed me," Bohanan said.

But he adds that doesn't want the actions of two officers to affect the public's opinion of the entire police department.

"I've had nothing but good experiences with police my entire life," said Bohanon. "No matter how bad this situation is, or how much it hurt physically or emotionally, it's not going to shake my faith or trust in the police department."

According to court documents, Bohanon and a bartender got into a disagreement, and she asked him to leave.

"There was a dispute over my bill. And I was labeled as being obnoxious. However, I was just being picky and wanted to make sure I had an itemized list of all the drinks I had bought," said Bohanon.

Documents allege that Officer Serban confronted Bohanon, pulling out his badge and putting it in Bohanon's face.

"I thought he was posing as a police officer. And that was where my reactions weren't the best, but why I reacted the way I did," explained Bohanon. "I threw the officer's badge."

The doorman at the bar tried to break up the confrontation, and Serban struck him in the face, according to court documents.

Serban then allegedly put Bohanon in a choke hold for a full minute. Video shows Officer Reiger continuing to strike Bohanon, even while he was unconscious.

Outside the bar, Bohanan, still unconscious, was struck in the head.

"All I know they could have broke my skull," said Bohanon.

"They carried it too far," he added.