Sunday, February 14, 2016

Following Tom Stevens' arrest, accusations of police brutality emerge
Posted on March 27, 2014 at 7:34 p.m.

After a South Bend golfer was seriously injured during an arrest, the man's mother has accused the officer involved of police brutality, WSBT and The South Bend Tribune reported.

Tom Stevens, 55, did not stop when an officer tried to pull him over around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, our news partner WNDU reported. Stevens continued to his home, which was about six houses away from where police officer Aaron Knepper tried to pull him over, the Tribune reported

"The officer attempted to effect an arrest at this location, and in the process Mr. Stevens was injured," the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said in a news release.

But according to Suzanne Stevens, Tom Stevens' 76-year-old mother who witnessed the incident, Knepper beat her son excessively. She told WSBT and the Tribune she thought her son was going to die – she said Knepper had Tom Stevens pinned against the side of the home and punched him repeatedly in the chest, jaw, neck and ribs. 

After Suzanne Stevens tried to stop Knepper, she and her son were arrested for resisting arrest and battery to an officer, WSBT reported.

According to the Tribune, this isn't the first time Knepper has been at the center of a controversy.

He was one of three officers accused of entering a home without a warrant, beating 17-year-old DeShawn Franklin and falsely arresting him in March 2013, the Tribune reported. In May, a convenience store clerk claimed Knepper, Eric Mentz and Michael Stuk, the same officers involved in the March 2013 incident, violated his rights by slashing his tires and challenging him to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon, the Tribune reported.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office told WSBT that no criminal charges will be filed tonight. However, they could come in the future.

As of Thursday morning, March 27, Tom Stevens was still in the hospital, the Tribune reported. On Wednesday, March 26, WSBT reported Tom Stevens was in a medically-induced coma.

Tom Stevens is known around the area for his golf career, which won him three consecutive titles in the South Bend Metro Men's Tournament from 1981 to 1983, the Tribune reported.

To read more about the incident, visit The South Bend Tribune's website. To watch a video of Suzanne Stevens telling her side of the story, visit WSBT's website.