David Accomazzo
Rocky Mountain News
August 12, 2008

Thomas Charles Armstrong took the stand Monday to defend himself against accusations he resisted arrest, charging that Denver police assaulted him during a scuffle in 2005.

Armstrong said he made no aggressive action toward the officers who stopped him Nov. 11, 2005, near East 11th Avenue and Xenia Street for “suspicious behavior.”

Prosecutors Bill Winter and Bonnie Benedetti said that on that date Denver police officer Daniel Swanson stopped Armstrong around 1 a.m.

Swanson testified Monday that he had seen Armstrong running in the middle of the street “with his hands in the air screaming.”

“It struck me as a sort of panic,” Swanson testified. “I’m sensing he needs help.”

Armstrong slowed as he approached the car, Swanson said, and as the two talked, it became apparent to Swanson that Armstrong was intoxicated. Swanson said he decided he needed to take Armstrong to detox.

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