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Suspect In Arrest That Spawned Hartford Police Probe Resolves Case

A Hartford man whose in-custody assault at the hands of a police officer captured headlines for more than a year has resolved the criminal case at the center of the incident.

Emilio Diaz, 40, was granted a pretrial diversionary program on Dec. 1. If he completes the yearlong period of probation, the charges against him — including resisting arrest and felony drug possession — will be dismissed.

Diaz was a passenger in a stolen car that led officers from Hartford, West Hartford and Connecticut State Police on a prolonged chase on June 4, 2016. His arrest after the chase sparked an excessive force investigation by the chief state’s attorney’s office after Sean Spell, a now-retired Hartford police sergeant, was filmed kicking him in the head while he was prone and handcuffed.

Spell was convicted of third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace earlier this year. He told investigators he kicked Diaz because Diaz had been spitting blood from an open wound on his forehead.

Ricardo Perez, the driver of the car Diaz had been riding in, was found guilty of drug possession and reckless driving in May, after the state dropped the more serious charges he was facing, including assault on a police officer.

Perez was sentenced to one year in jail, execution suspended, and three years of probation.

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