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New Video of Controversial Superior Arrest

Updated: 01/24/2014 6:29 PM
Created: 01/24/2014 5:34 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

A witness has come forward with new video of the controversial arrest by a Superior police officer earlier this month. The woman arrested has been charged with battery of a peace officer, but her attorney said the new video shows the officer used excessive force.

Video from a police dashboard camera showed how the incident started, but the struggle between 28-year-old Natasha Lancour and Officer George Gothner continued out of view.

Lancour's defense attorney, Rick Gondik, said a witness recorded what happened next, and he said the video shows Gothner continuing to punch his client while she's on her knees.

“This is unequivocally demonstrating that the force was excessive,” Gondik said.

Police reports show Gothner responded to the scene of a fight outside Keyport Lounge in Superior on Jan. 5. The video shows him approaching Lancour and then attempting to arrest her.

Gondik said the cell phone video came from an anonymous witness. He said it fills out the story missing from the previously released police video. He said Gothner was out of line in his use of force.

“He's supposed to be there as a peace officer, as in keep the peace. No he basically initiated this contact, the physical contact, I think that's clear,” Gondik said. “We think this video will demonstrate that this was, in fact, an unlawful use of force.”

Natasha Lancour has been accused of felony battery of Officer Gothner. In his report, Gothner wrote Lancour resisted arrest and reached up and scratched his face so he responded with two closed fist punches. Gondik said the punches were unjustified whether or not his client scratched Gothner.

“The proportionality, the level of force leveled on her was way out of proportion to a scratch,” Gondik said.

Superior Police also received the anonymous video on Friday, and officials said it was placed into evidence. Police have sent it to the independent investigator reviewing Gothner's use of force.

Chief Charles LaGesse said he had no comment on the new video, but in a Wednesday interview LaGesse said the case will be resolved in court.

“This is a case that will be tried in criminal court, and potentially in civil court, and that's where it should be tried. And I'm not trying it in the media by making further comment,” LaGesse said.

Superior Police said Gothner has been moved to office duty and will not be on patrol until the investigation is complete. However LaGesse emphasized that the change is not a disciplinary action.

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