COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A school security guard was filmed grabbing a woman by the arm at a town hall event with Gov. Jared Polis. The event happened Saturday at Sierra High School in Colorado Springs, but now the district tells us they've opened up an internal investigation into the incident.
On Tuesday, Harrison School District 2 says the security guard is "no longer employed" by the district. Christine O'Brien with District 2 sent the following statement:
"Harrison School District Two was pleased to partner with the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Springs Business Journal, and Citizens Project to offer one of our high school auditoriums as a venue for the CEO of our state, Governor Jared Polis, to speak with our community. These groups had a shared objective to offer our students and residents the opportunity to hear from and respectfully engage with our elected official. The organizers had established rules for the Town Hall meeting and unfortunately, some of the attendees chose to be disruptive rather than follow the rules that were clearly outlined.
The District conducted an internal investigation of the incident which occurred near the end of the event. In the future, Harrison School District Two will require community partners to provide security for political events. The security employee involved in the incident is no longer employed by the District. As this is a personnel matter, we will not comment further."
A spokesperson with District 2 says the crowd was told before the event started that posters, flags and yelling were not allowed, among other behaviors.
As the governor left, one woman pulled out a scarf that said "Recall Polis." 11 News spoke to bystanders who watched what happened next. They say the woman was dragged over to her granddaughter, who was sitting down.
"He went from zero to complete hands-on physical, you know, submission methods," said Bob Tocarciuc, a man who helped the woman up.
Tocaciuc also happens to be a security guard, but he was not working the event, just attending as a citizen.
“I heard screaming to my left. I was approximately 8 feet away from the lady that got assaulted, I guess. It's the only way I can describe it," he said.
Tocaciuc believes the situation could have been handled differently.
"I think it was absolutely excessive," he told 11 News. “We talk to people first. All they had to do was ask. Maybe just try to guide her in the direction he would like her to go.”
School District 2 says they will get to the bottom of what happened and will gather all of the facts before they make any decisions.
The Colorado Springs Business Journal, Colorado Springs Independent, Southeast Express and Pikes Peak Bulletin hosted the event.
The Colorado Springs Independent provided the following statement:
"We are pleased that the citizens of Colorado Springs had an opportunity to dialogue with the CEO of our state, Gov. Jared Polis. We wish that some of the adults in attendance had obeyed repeated requests to be civil and orderly. Our goal was to provide a space for a respectful exchange with our elected official. We refer all additional questions to Sierra High School who oversaw security at the event."