David Morrow, ex-deputy, gets five years for breaking drunk teen's jaw

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Photos, video below.
It's been well over two years since we first told you about accusations against David Morrow, who expressed his frustration with a drunk teenager by punching him hard enough to break his jaw.

Now, at long last, Morrow has been sentenced for the crime, earning five years behind the sort of bars behind which he previously placed other alleged law breakers as part of a job he no longer has.

Photos, video and details below.

On June 12, 2011, as we've previously reported, Morrow and five other deputies from the Adams County Sheriff's Department responded to reports about a party out of bounds on Welby Road. There, a birthday bash for T.J. Arce, 21, was underway at an outdoor shed known as a hang-out spot for a group of young people who called themselves "the 88 block."

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An old Facebook photo of Morrow.
As soon as officers arrived, most of the revelers split, with the exception of Arce and a fifteen-year-old who the birthday boy admits was severely soused -- an opinion confirmed by a subsequent blood alcohol test that registered a .202, more than double the legal limit. The teen was soon taken into custody and placed in an ambulance on a gurney, and his feet and hands were restrained.

His lips weren't, however, and when the teen reportedly mouthed off rather than answer questions, Morrow allegedly struck him with a closed fist on the left side of his jaw, breaking it on impact.

An instant later, Morrow looked at the faces around him and is said to have asked, "Nobody saw anything, right?"

Yes, they did. When one of the paramedics noted that the teen was bleeding, Morrow is quoted as saying, "I guess I'll have to figure that out."

The deputy subsequently admitted that "I just lost my temper" and maintained that "this has never happened before... it's never going to happen again."

He was right, in a sense: He never got a chance to do something similar as an Adams County deputy, because he was put on administrative leave without pay and later fired from a position he'd held since 2004 -- this despite claiming to CBS4 that "the rumors going around" about his actions were "completely false."

This past August, just over two years after the incident, Morrow was convicted of second-degree assault and third-degree assault and child assault. The 17th Judicial District DA's office notes that he faced a maximum sentence of sixteen years in jail, but in the end, he was sentenced to five.

Which should give Morrow plenty of time to "figure that out." Here's a look at his booking photo, followed by a 9News report from 2011.

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David Morrow.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Anne Kelly, Denver Sheriff's deputy, charged with 3rd-degree assault for slapping DUI suspect."

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13 comments
jwallick35
jwallick35

Ridiculous. 5 years for punching a punk ass kid who had it coming. 50 years ago that kid not only would have been punched by the cop to whom he mouthed off but he would of had his ass whooped by his parents too and that would be it. How far we have fallen when some dumb ass lawless wannabe gang banger gets the last laugh.

Mnizzle
Mnizzle

HIS jaw is going to be getting a lot of work!


laxx1559
laxx1559

Wow, I'm surprised he's going to jail!  People should be furious when things like this happens to people.  If you don't care about the people, you should at least care that it's YOUR TAX DOLLARS being awarded to people for getting treated poorly by the police.

urcamahe
urcamahe

This is so absurd. The American legal system is such a joke! 5 years?? He loses his temper and hits a kid (if the outcome was unusually good or poor has NOTHING to do with it), and loses 5 (effectively 3) years of his life. That is completely out of proportion.

offthepigs
offthepigs

Denver police are obviously out of hand. I as a taxpayer am tired of shelling out millions to people who have been wrongly beat up by a bunch of low IQ'd jackasses. These "cops" are criminals, and need to be treated as such. Soon people will be completely fed up, and war will break out against these fools. From the roid-raged morons with badges all the way up to the chief of police to the governor, they will be pulled from their homes and brutally beaten- it seems to be the only language they know. Keep it up, DPD- you will have your karma threefold when people get tired of your crap. Broken bones and blood are the only thing you deserve.

Matt Nelson
Matt Nelson

At least he's being held accountable for his actions. I'd rather see stiffer penalties for abuse of power than a slap on the wrist.

Jordan Snyder
Jordan Snyder

This is a perfect illustration of why I really dislike and distrust cops. But I can't help but balk a bit at a 5 year sentence. This guy is a massive douche and was in a position of authority, but don't some murderers get out in less than 5 years? I don't know how I feel about this.

James Gold
James Gold

Almost every day there are stories like this about the violence of law enforcement apes like this guy. Yet no one has really started the discussion of how to weed these types out of the lineup to get hired in the first place. Clearly, something is terribly wrong.

stupidstuka
stupidstuka

Scumbag cops deserve to rot in prison.

Adj Hernandez
Adj Hernandez

If you're going to put that many restrictions on it, what's the point of being a sheriff's deputy in the first place?!?

laxx1559
laxx1559

Most people would just say 'he deserved it'.  They don't take into account that it's all of our money that is being spent to pay for the ensuing lawsuit(s)

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