Grand jury clears Newport police detective accused of using excessive force

This is an image of a fight between what appears to be officers and two men in Newport, Sunday, June 26, 2022. (Christian Winthrop/Newport Buzz)

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday that a statewide grand jury will not charge Newport Police Det. Patrick Walsh, who was accused of using excessive force this past summer.

Three Newport police officers, including Walsh, were involved in an altercation that was caught on camera on June 26.

The incident happened on Thames and Green streets.

That night, police said Officer John Sullivan was patrolling a crowd outside a bar that was closing in that area. That’s when the officer saw Dennis Engleson “forcefully throwing a silicone bar mat towards persons walking down the sidewalk.”

Engleson was seen throwing it at pedestrians several times. He and his friends were then asked to “to leave the area immediately.”

After being asked several times to leave, Engelson refused and continued to yell and “act belligerently.”

Sullivan made the decision to arrest Engelson for disorderly conduct, police said. The officer then called for back up.

“Officer Neil Sullivan responded to assist, while Detective Patrick Walsh arrived on scene for crowd control,” said police.

During this time, a second man, identified as Christopher Adams, tried to interfere, “affecting Engelson’s arrest.”

A police report revealed that Walsh was “startled” to see Adams behind John and Neil Sullivan while still dealing with Engelson. Use of force was used to secure Adams.

Lt. April Amaral said Adams was “brought to the ground for obstructing the two officers who were actively arresting Engelson.”

The two Newport men were arrested and charged. They plead not guilty in court on July 6.

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