Columbus police officer arrested, accused of punching handcuffed suspect


John Velten

COLUMBUS, Ind.– A Columbus police officer faces charges after allegedly punching a handcuffed man.

The incident happened on June 16, 2020. Officer John Velten, a 14-year veteran of the Columbus Police Department, arrested a man after responding to a fight on Indiana Avenue.

Indiana State Police detectives say the suspect started hitting his head against the interior of the police vehicle. At that time, Velten allegedly struck the suspect with his fist while the suspect was still handcuffed inside the car, causing moderate injuries.

Velten faces charges of battery resulting in moderate injury and official misconduct, both felonies. He was arrested on Tuesday after turning himself in at the Bartholomew County Jail.

Velten has remained employed with the City of Columbus in a non-law enforcement related capacity since the investigation began. The Columbus Police Department says more information will be released soon about the status of Velten’s employment.

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