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Lawsuit filed claims Denver deputy used excessive force on man being wheeled out of hospital

Serafin Finn.jpg
Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 23:07:21-04

DENVER — Serafin Finn was being wheeled out of Denver Health when surveillance video appears to show a Denver County Deputy punching him and knocking him to the ground.

"It seems pretty obvious the strike was there, and it was totally unnecessary," said Omeed Azmoudeh, Finn's attorney.

Azmoudeh represented Finn during the incident back in 2019. Finn died in January 2021. Azmoudeh did not tell Denver7 how he died, only saying it’s unrelated to the events of this night.

According to Azmoudeh, Finn was in the hospital for undisclosed medical reasons, and deputies were made aware of a warrant he had for a third-degree assault. Once he was medically cleared, he was shackled, placed in a wheelchair and escorted out of the hospital by two deputies. As Finn was being wheeled down the ramp, Azmoudeh says Denver sheriff’s deputy Jason Gentempo claims Finn spit at him.

"I saw a restrained man being rolled outside of a hospital who appeared to spit, although when Sarafin was alive, he doesn’t recall whether he spit or not. Regardless of whether he spit or not, the next sequence of events is what’s important. It’s obvious that Serafin posed no physical threat," Azmoudeh said.

Azmoudeh says the video shows Gentempo hitting Finn multiple times and then taking him down to the ground.

"We’re still investigating the day of injuries. Obviously, one of the challenges is Deputy Gentempo didn’t report the use of force at the time, and so he [Finn] wasn’t evaluated until two days later," Azmoudeh said.

A video also given to Denver7 by Finn’s lawyers shows the man falling over at the Denver Jail. Finn looks to be convulsing while an officer and medical aid attend to him.

This action at the hospital lead to an investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau. Azmoudeh said the lead investigator suggested Gentempo be disciplined for his action and for lying on his report.

However, the deputy was never punished, according to Azmoudeh.

When asked to confirm these claims, the City Attorney’s Office told Denver7, they are not in a position to comment because of the pending litigation.

Azmoudeh is now part of a lawsuit recently filed against the City and County of Denver and Gentempo.

"Our plan is to vindicate Serafin‘s rights as though he was alive," Azmoudeh said. "It doesn’t matter that he’s passed away. What matters is that there’s an injustice that occurred."