KEY POINTS

  • The woman said Archuleta grabbed her throat so tight that she could not breathe
  • Archuleta was suspended for six days in May for using OC fogger at a woman
  • The officer then told investigators that he realized fogging the woman was a mistake

A Denver police officer, who was suspended for using excessive force during George Floyd racial justice protests last year, is now charged with domestic violence. 

Diego Archuleta, 26, is accused of choking a woman following a verbal argument on Sept. 1, reported KDVR.  He faces charges of criminal attempt to commit assault in the second degree – a felony, and assault in the third degree – a misdemeanor. 

Archuleta allegedly got into an altercation with a female passenger in his car. The victim told police that Archuleta grabbed her around the throat before pushing her at the car door. The accused then tightened his grip around her neck, restricting her breathing, according to a probable cause statement.

The woman told police she managed to fight back and called 911 after getting out of the car. There were visible abrasions and red marks on her neck. The victim said she was "scared that if he did not let go she would have passed out."

A deputy who responded to her 911 call said the accused failed the roadside field sobriety test. He also refused to take a chemical blood alcohol content test.

Archuleta was one of the two Denver police officials who were suspended in May for their conduct during the racial justice protests, which started after the murder of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Archuleta and Derek Streeter were the first officers in the department to be disciplined this way, reported Colorado Sun. 

Archuleta was suspended for six days in May for discharging his oleo-resin capsicum (OC) fogger at a vehicle stuck in the traffic. According to the discipline reports released by the Department of Public Safety, the woman was stuck in traffic on North Logan Street just after midnight on June 1, 2020. She was "chastising the officers" and said, "What, they gonna kill this guy?"

Archuleta, who was near her SUV, sprayed his OC fogger twice at the windshield before he turned and walked up the street. 

"Once I dispersed the fogger, the female immediately put her window up and put her head down to read her phone. I realized that I made a mistake and walked away from the female and her car," Archuleta wrote in his use of force report.

Streeter was suspended for firing three PepperBall rounds in the direction of a car after the driver yelled profanity at the officers. 

Police Representational image. Photo: Pixabay