Missoula County deputy charged with mistreating prisoner

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A former Missoula County sheriff's deputy has been charged with a felony after fellow officers said he dragged a handcuffed man out of the back of a patrol car and choked him.

A charge of mistreating prisoners was filed Monday against Doug Hartsell Jr. His initial appearance in Justice Court is set for Jan. 29.

State investigators talked with other deputies involved in the November 2017 arrest who said the suspect was resisting being placed in the patrol car when Hartsell dragged him out of the car onto the ground face down and began choking him. One officer said the suspect's head hit the door frame and the ground.

Court records say an officer twice pulled Hartsell off the suspect.

The Missoulian reports Hartsell's attorney, Milton Datsopoulos, was not available for comment Friday. The sheriff's office declined comment.

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com

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