Excessive force report: Former Hartford police sergeant kicked cuffed man for spitting blood at him

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HARTFORD - A former Hartford police sergeant, who was caught on camera kicking a handcuffed suspect, said he did so because the suspect was spitting blood at him and wouldn't stop.

Sgt. Sean Spell, now retired, wrote in an incident report that he used his foot on Emilio Diaz because he didn't have gloves on. Diaz was bleeding from an open wound on his forehead.

This stems from a June 4 arrest, where Diaz and Ricardo Perez were occupants of a stolen vehicle.

Dash camera video shows Spell dropping his left leg on a man's head.

The report that details the spitting was among nearly 100 pages of internal documents released on Tuesday. Use of force was reported by 12 of the 31 responding officers that night.

In the report, Spell told Diaz to stop spitting blood and to lay prone or he would force him down and Diaz didn't comply.

The sergeant also reported a distinct smell of PCP, which usually involves violent behavior, coming from Diaz.

Diaz's lawyer tells The Hartford Courant his client "denies spitting blood at anybody." Spell's attorney didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

An excessive force investigation is ongoing in this matter.