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Fight with transient sidelines officer due to groin injuries

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POSTED May 31, 2014 1:15 a.m.



A transient claiming that Manteca Police used excessive force when they tried to roust him from his sleep alongside an East Manteca car wash last week put a Manteca patrol officer out of work for a month as a result of the melee. 

According to a press release from Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion, responding officer Ben Cromwell tried more than a dozen times to wake up Manteca resident Robert Olvera with no success. It was when Cromwell attempted to take control of the man’s hand – which wasn’t visible – that the struggle first ensued and Olvera reached up and grabbed Cromwell by the testicles and refused to let go.

According to Obligacion he held on for two minutes until a backup officer arrived and used his taser to help free Cromwell from the tangle. Obligacion said that even after he was tased, Olvera attempted to latch on to the officer’s groin again, requiring the assistance of a third officer to finally put him into handcuffs. 

The Manteca Police, at the request of media sources, released the five-minute long video showcasing Cromwell’s struggle with Olvera, recorded through the camera that officers started wearing as a part of their uniform back in March. Manteca was the first law enforcement agency in San Joaquin County to adopt the technology. 

Olvera was transported via ambulance to San Joaquin General Hospital with injuries to his face and ribs, and charges of assault on a police officer have been forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review. He was released to the custody of the hospital for treatment of his injuries but was arrested, the report said, for attacking the officer and resisting arrest. He had a measured blood alcohol content of .21.

Cromwell received treatment at a nearby hospital on the night of the incident for injuries he sustained to his hand and his groin. Doctors have ordered him off patrol duty as a result of his injuries. Obligacion said in a previous media interview that the officer could be out of work for upwards of 30 days. 

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