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Man says he thought he 'was going to die' during arrest by Muncie police

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 17:11:52-04

MUNCIE — Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday they are filing charges in a new incident involving the Muncie Police Department, including charges from the arrest of Manny Montero.

They are also charging a fourth Muncie Police Department officer, Corey Posey, with making a false statement in a use of force report.

Additional charges have also been filed against three officers, who were indicted last year, in cases that go back to 2018.

The charges announced on Wednesday come two weeks after WRTV aired a story on how the Muncie Police Department has handled allegations of police brutality.

For the first time, Montero is sharing his story of the night he says he was physically assaulted by officers on May 13, 2018.

Montero was pulled over for a missing headlight.

"They told me to step out, and I stepped out,” Montero said. “They just started pummeling me. Pretty much beating me down."

He said he kept thinking about wanting to see his family and his son during this incident.

“I didn't understand why they were doing it,” Montero said. “I didn't understand what was going on."

The following photos of the incident were including in a civil lawsuit filed by Montero.

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This screenshot of the arrest of Emanuel "Manny" Montero on May 13, 2018, by Muncie Police Department officers, was included in a civil lawsuit filed by Montero. New charges against Muncie Police Department officers by federal prosecutors also stem from his 2018 arrest.

The photo below, also included in the lawsuit, shows his face after he was arrested for resisting law enforcement and improper headlights.

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He was eventually transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis and had surgery.

"A bunch of facial fractures, broken ribs, I really can't see well,” Montero said. “I have PTSD. It's definitely changed my life."

The lawsuit was filed against several Muncie police officers, including Officers Chase Winkle, Jeremy Gibson, Posey and Sgt. Joseph Kresja.

Winkle, Gibson and Kresja were indicted in March 2020 by federal prosecutors. Montero’s case wasn’t included in the initial indictment, but the new indictment includes what happened to Montero.

It accuses Winkle and Gibson of striking Montero in the head with their knees and falsifying their reports.

"I was scared. I thought I was going to die,” Montero said. “I thought they were going to kill me. I'd never been so scared in my life."

He received a $250,000 settlement check earlier this month from his lawsuit, but he says it isn’t enough.

“I want to see them convicted,” Montero said.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against him stemming from his arrest during the traffic stop in 2018. He said he plans to move out of Muncie and hopes the Muncie Police Department makes the changes necessary to prevent excessive force incidents.

“I'm not an angel. But I don't deserve what happened to me,” Montero said. “I was taking my brother to the store to get a soda, that's it. I don't think anybody deserves to get beat up by police."

Posey and Kresja aren’t charged in the Montero case but were mentioned in the civil lawsuit.

Winkle and Gibson were already awaiting a federal trial scheduled to start in September for using excessive force while making arrests in 2018 and 2019, while Kresja is accused of writing false police reports.

WRTV has reached out Muncie police, the city’s attorneys and attorneys for the indicted officers and is awaiting a response.

Since 2019, WRTV has been fighting to get body camera footage of several arrests by officers where excessive force is alleged, including Montero’s arrest. The department won’t release the footage of his arrest, saying the case remains part of an internal investigation by the Muncie Merit Commission and is now part of the federal indictment.

You can read the new indictment below.

Do you have a tip, information or a story to share about the Muncie Police Department? WRTV wants to hear from you.

WRTV Investigates reporter Kara Kenney can be reached at kara.kenney@wrtv.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

Andrew Smith is a Real-Time Editor at WRTV and can be reached at andrew.smith@wrtv.com, on Facebook and Twitter.

MUNCIE POLICE COVERAGE | A police chief said the arrest was 'textbook,' but an expert says the body cam video shows otherwise | Muncie police chief confirms federal investigation into department | Muncie police chief leaving department at the end of the year | Muncie mayor elect names new police chief, deputy chief | 3 Muncie police officers indicted in excessive force investigation | Muncie facing 5th excessive force lawsuit involving police | Ex-informant suing Muncie PD for excessive force | Delaware County man files excessive force lawsuit against Muncie police officers | Federal trial delayed for Muncie police officers indicted following excessive force investigation

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