Former Loveland police officer who arrested a woman with dementia could be moved to halfway house

Loveland Police Department
A screenshot from Loveland police officer Austin Hopp’s body camera moments before he forcefully arrested 73-year-old Karen Garner in Loveland on June 26, 2020.

A former Loveland police officer convicted of assaulting a woman with dementia in 2020 may be moved to a halfway house. 

Austin Hopp is scheduled to appear before the Weld County Community Corrections Board on Feb. 15. The Colorado Department of Corrections says Hopp is eligible for referral to Community Corrections under state statute

Hopp was sentenced last year to five years in prison with an additional three years on parole following his release. So far, he has served nine months. 

“If the inmate is accepted into a community custody facility, they will still be in inmate status and not eligible for parole,” wrote CODC spokesperson Annie Skinner in an emailed statement. Hopp will not be eligible until July 4, 2024.

Hopp pleaded guilty last March for his violent arrest of Karen Garner in June 2020. Workers at a local Walmart called the Loveland police after Garner, who was 73 years old at the time, left the store without paying for $14 worth of small items. Hopp encountered Garner as she was picking flowers along the side of a nearby road.

Body camera footage showed Hopp pushing Garner against the hood of his squad car. Garner repeated that she was going home. Hopp then pushed her again. Gardner came away with a dislocated shoulder, a broken arm and bruises from the encounter. 

Her family says she also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The three officers involved in the arrest resigned from the department. Then-Police Chief Bob Ticer resigned and accepted a similar position with the Prescott Valley Police Department in Arizona. Officer Daria Jalali also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years probation.
Garner’s family reached a $3 million settlement in 2021 with the City of Loveland.

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