Hinesburg police officer at center of excessive force lawsuit resigns

File photo

By Gail Callahan
vtdigger.org

A Hinesburg Community Police Officer who was sued in federal court for excessive force has resigned from the department.

Officer Cameron Coltharp voluntarily resigned April 30. No announcement was made by town officials.

The resignation was brought to light after VTDigger placed a public records request for the information.

Coltharp resigned nearly a year after he and officer Jeremy Hulshof responded to a call May 6, 2016, at Lori Ann Carron’s home.

Carron and her husband, Philip Cromer, called 911 about an alleged domestic-assault incident. When Coltharp and Hulshof arrived, Cromer said his wife was suffering from a mental health crisis.

Body camera footage shows Coltharp walked past Cromer, aggressively pushed the woman to the floor and handcuffed her hands behind her back. Carron’s head hit a chair in the fall and her face was bloodied. Cromer was heard on the video requesting an ambulance.

After the incident, Hinesburg Police Chief Frank Koss placed Coltharp on paid administrative leave; Hulshof remained on active duty.

Carron filed an excessive force lawsuit last summer in U.S. District Court in Burlington, alleging that Coltharp violated her civil rights. The Hinesburg town government settled with Carron for $60,000.

In late November, the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office cleared Coltharp and Hulshof of criminal wrongdoing after an investigation by the Vermont State Police. The investigation focused on Coltharp, whom Carron said in her lawsuit “spun her around, throwing her to the floor” after a domestic assault complaint had de-escalated. In separate lawsuits, Coltharp and Hulshof denied the charges.

The eight-page agreement between Hinesburg and Coltharp shows that the police officer remained on paid administrative leave until his resignation became effective.

When he resigned, Coltharp was to receive a lump sum payment of $10,000 for 169 combined hours of time off.

Under the agreement, Coltharp isn’t allowed to enter the police department without the chief’s permission.

The town will provide any future employers the dates of Coltharp’s employment with Hinesburg, the last position he held, and the hourly rate of pay he received at the time he left the town’s employment. The town won’t disclose, without a subpoena, a court order with any information regarding Coltharp’s employment history.

The agreement was signed by Coltharp, his attorney, Pietro Lynn, then-Hinesburg town administrator Trevor Lashua and Hinesburg town attorney William Ellis.

Police Chief Koss and Selectboard Chairman Phil Pouech declined comment.

Coltharp confirmed in a brief telephone interview earlier this week he resigned from the police department. He joined the Hinesburg department nearly six years ago and started his law-enforcement career over a decade ago.

The Hinesburg police department has six officers, according to the town website.

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