Columbus police officer arrested for battery, misconduct

A Columbus police officer was arrested Tuesday on felony battery and official misconduct charges for allegedly slugging a suspect who was handcuffed in the back of a patrol vehicle, Indiana State Police said.

Officer John Velten, a 14-year veteran of the Columbus Police Department, was arrested when he turned himself in at the Bartholomew County Jail, state police said.

Veltren last June 16 arrested a man after responding to a fight, police said. While handcuffed in the back seat of the patrol vehicle, the suspect began hitting his head against the interior of the police vehicle. Veltren struck the suspect with his fist while the suspect was still handcuffed inside of the vehicle.

The suspect suffered moderate injuries, police said.

After an investigation by Indiana State Police detectives, the cased was turned over to a special prosecutor.

Velten has remained employed with the city of Columbus in a non-law-enforcement-related capacity since the investigation began, police said.

It wasn’t clear whether he has an attorney who might comment on his behalf.

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