Ex-officer sentenced to 5 years in prison for violent arrest of 73-year-old woman

Former Loveland, Colorado police officers Austin Hopp, left, and Daria Jalali. LOVELAND PD

Nearly two years after violently arresting a 73-year-old woman with dementia, former Colorado police officer Austin Hopp was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday as part of a plea agreement to lessen his jail time. The June 2020 arrest left Karen Garner with a broken arm, sprained wrist and separated shoulder, CBS Denver reported.

In Larimer County Court in early March, Hopp pleaded guilty to an assault charge that was punishable by 2 to 8 years in prison. That avoided the minimum 10 to 30 or more years in prison he would have faced with a trial and conviction.

Hopp first encountered Garner after being dispatched to a report of an attempted theft at a Loveland Walmart, according to CBS Denver. Garner, who has dementia, allegedly tried to steal less than $15 worth of goods from the store. When confronted by Walmart staff, she returned the items and walked out of the store.

Body camera footage from Hopp showed the officer approaching Garner as she walked home. Carrying a wildflower in her hand, she failed to comply with multiple orders to stop. Hopp is then seen grabbing Garner by the arm and forcefully taking her to the ground, CBS Denver reported.