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El Paso County Sheriff Deputy faces criminal charges for allegedly grabbing six-year-old

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) - Parents of a six-year-old autistic child are concerned an El Paso County Sheriff Deputy isn’t being held accountable for allegedly grabbing, shoving, and cursing at the child while off duty.

According to the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training database, El Paso County Sheriff Deputy Christopher Cable is the subject of a criminal investigation. Court records show Cable is currently facing a misdemeanor harassment charge.

The parents of the victim filed an Internal Affairs (IA) complaint with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office that alleged Cable grabbed their six-year-old son, threw him to the ground, and cursed at him multiple times during an incident in October.

“If you're able to do this to my child, you're definitely able to do it to other people as well,” said Brandon Tommey, the father of the child.

Although the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said it couldn’t confirm if they received the IA complaint, the family provided the document to KRDO13 Investigates. It said Cable’s wife was one of the respite care providers for the six-year-old, who is diagnosed with autism and Tourette Syndrome.

On Oct. 21, the family told KRDO13 Investigates Cable came to their home while off-duty and was verbally aggressive with the child. His wife was playing with the child when Cable “grabbed (the child) roughly by his left lower arm/wrist area, swung him around, and forced (him) to the floor while yelling aggressively at (him), ‘Don’t hit my f*** wife!’”

“Being autistic, he can get kind of aggressive sometimes, but he's just enjoying himself, playing around,” Toomey said. “Christopher did not like that. At one point, that's when he grabbed our son's arm and basically threw him to the ground.”

In the complaint, the parents said their child broke down after the incident. While leaving the house, Cable is accused of verbally accosting the child again. According to the complaint, Cable was told to leave the house multiple times by Toomey and allegedly responded, “What the f*** are you going to do about it?”

Cable’s attorney said the deputy’s actions don’t meet the qualifications of harassment and he shouldn’t be facing a criminal charge.

When Cable left the house, the Fountain Police Department took statements from multiple witnesses. KRDO13 Investigates obtained the misdemeanor complaint filed by the Fountain Police which stated Cable “touched victim/submitted him to unwanted physical touch.”

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said Cable’s employment is “not currently impacted” by the incident and the “Internal Affairs outcome is pending the outcome of the criminal case.”

The sheriff’s office told KRDO13 Investigates five other internal affairs complaints have been filed against Cable. However, it’s unclear what those complaints are about, as four of them aren’t releasable to the public.

KRDO13 Investigates obtained the one complaint that is public. It was filed by a former jail inmate who accused multiple deputies, including Cable, of excessive use of force. However, an investigation said the claims were unfounded and recommended no disciplinary action.

The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office told KRDO13 Investigates it was initially considering dismissing the harassment case against Cable, telling the family there is “simply not a basis for the charges.” However, on Wednesday, the office told the family it recommended mediation between the two parties instead.

Jeremy Loew, a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs, said mediation is common for misdemeanor crimes not involving domestic violence, weapons, or theft. It helps prevent a backlog of cases in the judicial system.

“If the District Attorney's Office didn't have this avenue to kind of triage the more minor cases, it would be flooding the judicial system,” Loew said.

The parents of the victim told the District Attorney they don’t want to do mediation. Loew said if a victim declines mediation, the office can dismiss the case outright or offer diversion to Cable, which could include anger management classes or a letter of apology.

“You're in the public eye and you need to take that into consideration because you're not just working when you're on the clock,” Toomey said. “You're being watched all of the time and he needs to be held accountable for those actions.”

According to Colorado law, Cable could lose his POST certification if he agrees to a pretrial diversion. However, the state allows individuals to request a variance to keep their certification but it is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Cable’s next court hearing for this case is at the end of the month.

"Whether you are a police officer or deputy or not, it does not matter,” Toomey said. “You still need to be held accountable for what you have done."

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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