Santa Barbara settles police brutality case

September 13, 2014

The Santa Barbara City Council agreed to pay a man $120,000 in a police brutality case that was settled out of court in just one of two cases filed against an officer who has since left the force.

In 2011, Santa Barbara Police Officer Aaron Tudor was attempting to arrest Tony Denunzio, 53, when he said the suspect resisted arrest. As he subdued Denunzio, Tudor tased him 13 times and broke his nose and three of his ribs.

Denunzio was never convicted of a DUI, the reason for his 2011 arrest.

Tony Denunzio’s arrest caught on a police camera.

Tony Denunzio’s arrest caught on a police camera

A month after Tudor arrested Denunzio, Tudor along with several other officers was arresting Britteny Cotledge, 19, regarding a car accident the teen had after leaving a party. The teen resisted arrest and while bending her over the hood of his car, Tudor broke her arm.

Another officer on the scene vomited following the loud sound the breaking bone made.

On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council agreed to settle with Denunzio for $120,000. In addition, the council agreed to pay Cotledge $50,000. Cotledge has not currently agreed to a the settlement offer.


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18 Comments

  1. ml1999 says:

    Was the former officer ever tested for Juice? (Steroids)

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  2. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Good reason to always carry a camera on your person or in your car.. Photograph every thing. Photography is not a crime..

    (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
    • r0y says:

      That is exactly why so many Russians all have cameras in their cars: the police there are so corrupt, it’s just a way of life that you record their every move and word. Pretty sad that the United States of America is following so close behind, in terms of corrupted, militarized police forces.

      It used to be one or two bad apples spoiling the bunch, but I no longer believe there is a “bunch” left to spoil; I think we’re coming close to the one or two decent, honest ones making the bunch look unspoiled.

      (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
      • info says:

        Perhaps….but I do notice a common theme in all of these ‘abuse’ cases. They resisted.

        Glad to know we are sending a message that’s its o.k. to resist arrest.

        (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down
        • OnTheOtherHand says:

          One of the good things to come of the trend towards video taping everything is that CLAIMS of resisting arrest are often shown to be false. It is sad but we have evolved a “justice” system where many police feel it is OK to exaggerate or lie if they fail to exercise reasonable restraint or otherwise act in an unprofessional manner.

          I am all for requiring police officers to have recording systems — for video and voice — operating whenever they are on duty. Such devices must be reliable and connected to storage media that is accessible only for purposes of viewing the recordings. Failure to turn them on should be automatic grounds for suspicion of misconduct and repeated failures grounds for dismissal. Gaps and alterations in the recordings should be grounds for an outside investigation. (I would say for a Grand Jury Investigation but in this county their recommendations seem to be toothless at best and distracted by DAs with biases on occasion. )

          Those cops that are acting professionally and doing things right should have nothing to fear as such recordings will prove their case convincingly. Those that aren’t will have to change or find a job more appropriate to their character and skills when they are shown for what they are. Maybe they could work as cops in some country that is a bit further down the line towards fascism than ours.

          (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  3. bobfromsanluis says:

    Funny I don’t see anything mentioned about Officer Tudor being fired, demoted or suspended; I wonder if he still works for the Santa Barbara PD? If not, they may be hiring in Ferguson …

    (-6) 18 Total Votes - 6 up - 12 down
    • winedude says:

      First paragraph says the officer is no longer part of SBPD.

      (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
      • kayaknut says:

        But is he part of another PD?, because it sounds like he should not be part of any PD anywhere.

        (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        Thank you; I reread the article more closely, and you are correct, he has left the force.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • Theo P. Neustic says:

      Typical response that I’d expect from you but the Ferguson officer got the crap beat out of him before he shot that thug who was coming back to do more. But hey, why let facts get in the way of your agenda?

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        I would recheck your information source for that. I don’t think that the evidence is all in on either claim and there are now more witnesses saying that Brown was not coming back for him when he was shot. (I am not claiming that Brown wasn’t at least somewhat of a thug but it is sounding like the continued shooting wasn’t justified at the least.)

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
        • Theo P. Neustic says:

          Well, if the thug was shot in the front of his body,and that’s what the autopsy shows, was he running away, backwards? That being said, neither one of us were there at that moment and it’s purely speculation on all of our parts as to what really happened. Like it or not, most everyone, even the media,(believe it or not) has an agenda which colors their take on all such incidents.

          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
          • kettle says:

            Thug? ” it’s purely speculation on all of our parts”

            Then why is your agenda getting in the way: “officer got the crap beat out of him before he shot that thug who was coming back to do more”

            No that’s the cover up, blue wall style.

            “most everyone, has an agenda which colors their take on all such incidents.” Yes you do.

            (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
            • Theo P. Neustic says:

              I don’t deny it. My agenda is truth. I’ll be the first to say so if the facts are clear in some case .That the recipient of the bullet was a thug, that is clear from his history.

              (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  4. OnTheOtherHand says:

    One small step towards justice. We need many more such.

    (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
    • r0y says:

      Not really. The tax payers are on the hook for the payouts, and the perp is free to walk – heck, knowing government, he probably got a lateral promotion (or at least a transfer) to another, distant and ignorantly corrupt jurisdiction.

      Until people are held accountable, including the people responsible for hiring and managing these nut jobs, we’ll not see justice.

      (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        Unfortunately, that is often true. But it sounds like this guy at least lost his job over it. That is why I said it was a small step.

        (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
      • NorthCountyGuy says:

        Nobody in government is accountable because abusive, corrupt and irresponsible government employees are being tolerated and protected by their public-sector unions.

        The public-sector unions are an organized-crime scam.

        Responsible governrnent employees having the audacity to blow the whistle on the out-of-control abuse and corruption are singled out and punished with a vengeance.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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