SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A former police officer charged with assaulting a man during an arrest outside of a Sioux Falls bar was back in court today.
Joseph Larson, 34, entered a no contest plea and was sentenced to 60 days in jail with 55 of them suspended.
Larson was charged with simple assault after arresting a man outside of Wiley’s in Downtown Sioux Falls in July of 2021.
Larson was accused of pushing Samuel Sykes’ head against the cage in the police vehicle and punching Sykes in the groin while trying to latch the seatbelt.
Court papers say it was caught on video – video the judge did not see.
“That’s evidence. The video should have been in court, period. He’s saying something about the video, I’m saying something about the video, the attorney that I had was saying something about the video. Where’s the video at?” Sykes said.
Sykes, 53, was able to testify during the hearing.
“I was breaking down with tears because I know in my mind that nothing was going to happen, nothing was going to happen, but I had to speak my voice,” he said.
Larson also spoke. “My dream as a kid was to be a police officer and it’s been ripped away from me,” he said.
The judge denied a request for a suspended imposition, which would have cleared the crime from Larson’s record.
Instead, he sentenced Larson to five days in jail and 40 hours of community service.
“It was a big loss for me. It’s a big loss for the city. It’s a big loss for the people. You should no way, no form, be able to do that type of stuff with a man in handcuffs,” Sykes said.
We did reach out to Larson’s attorney for comment but have not heard back. If we do, we will update this story.