Suspected drunken cyclist tries to strangle arresting officer, Boulder police say

PD: 2nd officer tackles man attacking officer

BOULDER, Colo. - Police say a Boulder man tried to strangle an officer who stopped him for riding his bicycle while drunk on Sunday night.

A second officer arrived to find the 5-feet-10-inch man fighting the 5-feet-1-inch tall female officer and tackled the man, who continued resisting until he was handcuffed, according to a police report.

After being cuffed, the report said 24-year-old Matthew James Tello told officers, "I'm drunk, it's my birthday." An officer noted that Tello's speech was slurred, his breath smelled of alcohol and he had a flask containing what appeared to be alcohol in his pocket.

The incident began about 6:40 p.m. when witnesses told police a man later identified as Tello was riding his bike with another man on the handlebars in the 3200 block of 28th Street. The report quotes witnesses who said Tello was intoxicated and belligerent and the man sitting on the handlebars kicked a car, causing damage, before Tello pedaled off.

Officer Beth McNalley radioed that she had stopped Tello riding alone on a red bike a few blocks from the incident, police said.

Then dispatchers alerted other officers that McNalley had pressed an emergency button on her radio, police said.

Dispatchers could hear a male taunting the officer, saying, "You're a real big (expletive) cop," according to police reports.

In her report, McNalley said that after she stopped Tello and told him to get off his bike. The man refused to cooperate and kept cursing her.

McNalley said she had one handcuff on the man's left wrist when he used his free hand to grab her by the throat and began squeezing. The officer wrote that her airway was restricted.

McNalley wrote that she twice warned Tello that she would fire on him, and "I began to remove my gun from the holster because I was in fear for my life," according to the report.

Then Officer Nathan Logue arrived and tackled Tello, who continued to resist both officers as they wrestled on the ground, trying to handcuff him, the report said. Logue said Tello stopped fighting when he was warned he was going to shock him with a Taser.

Logue wrote in his report that he noticed that McNalley was coughing and trying to catch her breath and she had an unusually raspy voice. Logue also saw red marks and scratches on McNalley's neck.

McNalley was treated at a hospital and released. Logue said he also suffered an injured left ankle, right knee and index finger during the fight with Tello.

Tello was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, felony menacing, obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest, DUI and being an accessory to a crime. He remained at the Boulder County Jail Tuesday on $50,000 bond.

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