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Victim of off-duty officer beating says he holds no ill will toward police

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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. - Two veteran Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers are off the job, accused of beating up another man at a bar.

Police arrested two of their own Wednesday, 40-year-old John Serban and 46-year-old Michael Reiger.

Serban is a 16-year-veteran of the force. Reiger has served for 15 years. Both face one count of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a felony. Serban faces an additional court of battery with moderate bodily injury.

The officers were off duty during that bar fight, which happened back in August. Court documents show the victim was choked and beaten while unconscious.

Bradford Bohanon said even though he was seriously injured by the two off duty police officers, he is not letting the experience shake his faith in the city's police department. He told FOX59 on Wednesday afternoon that he's ready to put this situation behind him.

"I was choked out, lost consciousness, drug around the bar and outside. I was beaten and bloody, and that's where I came to, was in the parking lot," said Bohanon.

Bohanon said he was knocked out cold and downright assaulted at the hands of two off-duty IMPD officers.

"Slightly traumatic," he said.

It happened in early August at Mikie's Pub, at 5135 South Emerson. Bohanon said he had a disagreement with a female bartender.

"I wasn't being obnoxious, I was trying to check my bar tab," he said.

According to court documents, surveillance video shows officer John Serban confronting Bohanon and pulling out his badge. By his own admission, Bohanon said he then threw the badge down.

"I most likely wouldn't have thrown the officer's badge had I been sober," he said.

But that's when things get physical. Surveillance video obtained by investigators reportedly shows Officer Serban put Bohanon in a choke hold, for more than a minute. The probable cause affidavit said both officers beat Bohanon, then Officer Reiger drags him through the bar and outside on the concrete, unconscious.

Investigators estimated it was a total distance of 47 feet.

"I (saw) one gentleman with his foot on this guy's face, grinding his face into the pavement," said a witness. The witness went on to say, "Like you're putting out a cigarette."

Bohanon reported the incident to IMPD on August 11th. Wednesday, prosecutors charged the two veteran officers after an investigation. Both Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and IMPD Chief Rick Hite denounced the officers' actions.

"Two individuals who have come to our attention have overstepped their boundaries as law enforcement officials," said Hite. "Days like this make us wonder how we lost our way."

Bohanon said he holds no ill will toward police in Indianapolis, his hometown. It's a surprising stance given what he experienced.

"I know that 99 percent of them are honorable men that are doing a job for a reason, and as an Air Force Veteran, I know what that feels like," he said, "These gentlemen, if they were trying to shake my faith in our police department in Indianapolis, they can't do it because I have too many good feelings about our police service here."

Bohanon had serious injuries, and he said it took him about three weeks to recover.

Court documents said neither officer ever arrested him, called for medical assistance, or asked for a supervisor. In fact, a witness said the two came back in and had a fresh beer afterward and asked bar employees to "keep everything between them."

Hite said the two officers are on administrative leave, and he will request termination.

Police report both bonded out of jail as of Wednesday evening.

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