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Bull Shoals police chief arrested in federal excessive-force case

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 1:34 p.m.
Updated: April 8, 2014 at 1:55 p.m.

The chief of the Bull Shoals Police Department is facing federal charges tied to his use of excessive force in an arrest he made last year, authorities said.

The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said in a statement that Chief Daniel Sutterfield, 35, made an initial court appearance Tuesday in Harrison on charges of deprivation of rights and falsifying a report.

Sutterfield is accused of using excessive force in a July 9, 2013, arrest and then having an officer "write a false and misleading report ... in order to cover up and justify the use of excessive force," the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Sutterfield and an officer responded to a Bull Shoals residence after a woman reported she had been abused by her live-in boyfriend.

The boyfriend, identified as Nicholas Dore, wouldn't open the door or come out, and Sutterfield later forced entry and shocked him twice with a Taser before placing him in handcuffs, the affidavit said.

"After Dore was placed in handcuffs, Sutterfield kicked Dore repeatedly and repeatedly struck Dore with the butt stock of his police shotgun," FBI special agent Tim K. Akins wrote in the affidavit. "Sutterfield then instructed Dore to get up, who responded that he could not. Sutterfield then used the taser to stun Dore again repeatedly."

Another officer left the residence and returned to find Dore "bleeding from the head," Akins added.

A second officer at the scene told investigators Sutterfield also threw Dore "into a fireplace and into a wall" while he was handcuffed, Akins wrote.

The affidavit contends the incident report filed by police that day also contained "false justification" for using force against Dore and "omits additional force used against Dore after he was handcuffed."

Sutterfield faces up to 30 years in prison on the two counts.

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