Keep Westword Free
| News |

Video: Denver Deputy Roberto Roena Suspended for Using Taekwondo on Inmate

The timing could hardly be worse: Just two days after Manager of Safety Stephanie O'Malley fired Denver deputies Thomas Ford and Edward Keller after they were caught on video using excessive force against prisoners, a new clip has surfaced showing another deputy, Roberto Roena, unleashing taekwondo moves on an inmate.

Roena, who's also a taekwondo instructor, has been suspended for ninety days due to his actions. Get details and see the footage and additional images below.

See also: Denver Fires Deputies Thomas Ford and Edward Keller for Inmate Attacks

Roena's Facebook page features portraits like this one....

...and this one.... ...plus numerous taekwondo-related pics featuring him with young students, as well as the full-size version of the cropped image at the top of this post: Back in April, as seen in this screen capture from a video obtained by CBS4, Roena was showing off his taekwondo kicks for fellow deputies at the Downtown Detention Center.... ...when a nearby inmate apparently began giving him lip. Roena responded physically, precipitating a scuffle, with other deputies ultimately having to separate the two of them.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Afterward, Roena reportedly claimed that the inmate had initiated the contact -- something the video clearly shows wasn't true. As such, CBS4 notes that Roena drew a ninety-day suspension for his actions -- and for not initially telling the truth about them.

While the video is not nearly as violent as those that prompted the firings of Ford and Keller, it hardly presents a positive image of the deputies working at the detention center. Here's the CBS4 piece:

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.