PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates has confirmed that an investigation is ongoing after surveillance video surfaced showing multiple citizens arresting and beating a homeless male in Pueblo last September. The video in question involved a member of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) and a local mixed martial arts fighter in Pueblo.
According to police reports, the homeless male was accused of punching a teacher at a nearby school in the afternoon hours of September 14, 2022. Then, surveillance video from a business off E 8th St. in Pueblo captures a man dressed in a baseball cap take the homeless male to ground. That man has been identified as a volunteer SWAT medic with PCSO, Doug Cullison.
Minutes later, the video shows his son, identified as MMA fighter Nate Cullison, arrive on scene and deliver a running kick to the detained male on the ground. For the next minute, Nate Cullison is seen striking the male numerous times while he lay lifeless on the ground.
"It's really concerning, and it's concerning because it appears that people are taking the law into their own hands," Pueblo Defense Attorney Shawn Conti said.
Conti reviewed the video, which surfaced online over the weekend, and has major questions about whether the "citizens arrest" was lawful.
"In order for a Colorado citizen's arrest to be lawful, you have to be in the presence of the person when they're committing the crime," Conti explained. "That means that you have to see the crime. I'm led to believe that someone like that, had he seen the crime, there probably would have not been a crime. They would have stepped in. They would have intervened and stopped it."
On September 14, the homeless male was issued a ticket for battery and was released, according to a Pueblo PD report. However, there is no indication Doug or Nate Cullison have been arrested or charged since the incident. Now, 13 Investigates has learned Pueblo PD is aware of the video and is conducting further investigation.
"The police officer has to ask why? Why is this guy all beat up and why do neither one of you have a mark on you," Conti questioned. "There should be an internal affairs investigation into the responding officers to see what they knew and why they didn't do further investigation, and if they did anything that is disingenuous or anything that negatively affects their credibility, that could be career ending."
13 Investigates also spoke with a family member of the transient male involved. They became aware of the entire situation when the video surfaced online.
"I just was told that he was attacked, and I know that it's really shook him up and he's scared to do anything and go out anywhere or anything. It's been pretty rough for him," a family member who wished to stay anonymous said.
His family believes the Cullison's should be charged for the behavior shown in the video that's now in the hands of Pueblo Police.
"It's against the law what they do and anybody that does that should be charged no matter who they are," the family member said.
According to PCSO, Doug Cullison did not recieve the "non-uniformed citizen of the year" award for this incident, a rumor that had been circulating on social media. In a statement a spokesperson said:
"The “member of the year awards”, (Ie detention deputy, law enforcement, ESB, etc), are based on the recipient’s performance throughout the award year, not for a specific event. His award was for the 2022 year and was focused on his performance as a SWAT medic and RPM (resource pool member)."Gayle Perez -- Pueblo County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson
13 Investigates reached out to both Doug Cullison through the Sheriff's Office and his son Nate online. Both have not responded to our requests to speak with them.
The contents of the Pueblo PD investigation are unknown. A spokesperson would not give more detail on the potential criminal investigation because it is now considered an "active investigation."