Student in Old Town arrest video speaks out on Good Morning America

Haley Candelario

The Colorado State University student shown being thrown to the ground in a viral video posted April 6 recently spoke to Good Morning America about the incident.

Michaella Surat, 22, said the response to the video left her feeling humiliated, since it has gained hundreds of thousands of views since it was posted.

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“I was just so humiliated because everyone was watching me,” Surat said. “I can’t go to school without feeling like someone is going to approach me and hurt me. I’m getting death threats online.”

Fort Collins Police Services released a statement on April 9 to confirm that Officer Randall Klasmer, the officer shown throwing Surat to the ground, was placed on paid administrative leave.

According to the Coloradoan, FCPS responded to a disturbance between two men, one of whom is Surat’s boyfriend, at Bondi Beach Bar the evening of April 6. Surat said she went to check on her boyfriend and then the incident between her and Officer Randall Klasmer occurred.

“I found out that my boyfriend got kicked out of the bar and so I went outside to see what happened,” Surat said. “Then the altercation happened and one thing led to another and it just escalated.”

Kate Kimble, a spokeswoman for FCPS, told the Coloradoan that while officers interviewed witnesses regarding the disturbance between the two men, Surat “shoulder-checked the bouncer and an officer and then pulled her boyfriend from the area.”

FCPS upholds that the maneuver Klasmer used on Surat in the video was a “standard arrest control,” but both of Surat’s parents expressed their concern to GMA over the force Klasmer used.

“One little hair off differently, that could have been her death,” Michael Surat, her father, said.

Surat’s family told GMA that the altercation between Surat and Klasmer left her with bruises, a concussion and a contusion to her chin. Surat told GMA that the area on her chin is numb to the touch and that she has difficulty eating.

Fort Collins Police Services have said they will not release the footage captured on Klasmer’s body-worn camera, but Surat’s attorney, Andrew Bertrand, said he has seen the footage.

“I was still equally as appalled,” Bertrand said. “Nothing I saw in that video warranted the very aggressive response from the officer.”

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Community members and students who are against the force used in the video are holding a rally at Fort Collins City Hall April 18 at 5:30 p.m. The event is being hosted by CSU alumnus and recent candidate for mayor, Kwon Atlas, and students Juan Caro and Emily Faulkner.

Caro said he wanted to help organize the rally for members of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, which Surat is a member of. Members of the sorority have been asked by their International Executive Council to not comment on the situation.

Surat has not been able to be reached for comment.

Collegian news reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.