2 Newport men seen in video fighting with police plead not guilty
NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — Two Newport men arrested while getting into a physical encounter with police last month appeared in court Wednesday.
Dennis Engelson, 22, is facing misdemeanor charges, including obstruction, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
Both Engelson, and 22-year-old Christopher Adam, who was also arrested during the incident, plead not guilty to all charges.
Video taken by bystanders at a trolley outside of the One Pelham East bar in Newport shows police getting physical with several men outside the bar showed police in a scuffle with several men, including Engleson, who was pinned against a trolley while being arrested.
“We vehemently deny what’s being alleged by the Newport police as to it pertains to Mr. Engelson and the incidents last Sunday morning,” Christopher Millea said, the attorney representing Engelson.
The three officers involved were identified as John Sullivan, Neil Sullivan, and Detective Patrick Walsh, who is out on injured leave.
According to Newport police, the incident stems from Engleson “forcefully throwing a bar mat” toward people walking on the sidewalk. Police say he ignored several requests by officers to leave the area, and then took the 22-year-old into custody.
“He gave Engelson several more commands to place his hands behind his back, as he continued to actively resist and pull away,” Detective Jason Roach said, with the Newport Police Department.
Also arraigned Wednesday was 22-year-old Christopher Adam, who police said was arrested after a Newport Police officer got into a physical altercation with another man, while Engelson was being arrested. According to police, after the officer pushed that man away, he felt a hand on his shoulder and feared it was that man retaliating. He then turned around and struck Adam in the face.
“The officer feared he was about to act violently towards him. He struck him with an open hand, and brought him to the ground, to arrest him,” Detective Roach said.
Both Engelson and Adam’s cases will now move to be heard in Superior Court. There has not been a date set yet for when they will appear next.
“If there is going to be a trial on this matter it’s going to be by a jury. And a jury of his peers,” Millea said.