Trial begins for two IMPD officers accused of assaulting man at bar


Michael Reiger (left) and John Serban (right)

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UPDATE: Officers Michael Reiger and John Serban were found not guilty in November 2016 following their trial in this case

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A criminal trial has begun for two Indianapolis police officers accused of beating a man at a south side bar.

Michael Reiger and John Serban are both facing felony battery charges for an assault that was caught on camera in 2014.

After seating a jury, testimony got underway late Monday afternoon. The two accused officers have been suspended without pay pending their termination, now they’re trying to avoid going to jail for the incident.

It all started in August 2014 at a pub on south Emerson. That’s where a dispute between a bartender, a customer and two off-duty police officers turned bloody.

“I was choked out and lost consciousness. I was drug around the bar both inside and out. I was beaten and bloody. That’s where I came to was out in the parking lot,” said Bradford Bohanon.

Bohanon says he was knocked out by the two officers because they got mad he questioned their authority and says the suspects broke the law assaulting him.

Prosecutors agree and showed the jury video surveillance of Serban getting involved in the argument between Bohanon and the bartender.

Serban showed Bohanon his badge, who tossed it aside. Serban then put the victim in a choke hold until he was unconscious and a second officer Mike Reiger then started kicking Bohanon on the floor both inside and outside the bar.

In court, defense attorneys say the two officers acted in self-defense to contain an unruly customer.

Bohanon, who’s an Air Force veteran, would not comment on the case during the trial, but has said all along he hopes the case does not give all police officers a bad name.

“These gentlemen if they were trying to shake my faith in our police, they can’t do it because I have too many good feelings about our police here,” said Bohanon.

The criminal trial against the two officers is set to continue for the next couple of days.

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