CSU student in Old Town arrest video pleads not guilty

Piper Davis

The Colorado State University student slammed to the ground by a Fort Collins police officer during an arrest in Old Town in April pleaded not guilty to two charges filed against her for the altercation.

Michaella Surat, 22, appeared in court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to a Class 1 misdemeanor of third-degree assault and obstructing a peace officer, a Class 2 misdemeanor, according to the Coloradoan.

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A trial for Surat’s case has been scheduled for the middle of November and will last three days.

The altercation gained international attention when a video posted on social media showed Officer Randall Klasmer throwing Surat face-first into the ground.

Officer’s responded to the scene outside of Bondi Beach Bar after receiving multiple reports of a “separated disturbance” between two men.

Kate Kimble, a spokesperson for Fort Collins Police Services, told the Coloradoan that Surat, the girlfriend of one of the male suspects, “shoulder-checked the bouncer and an officer, then pulled her boyfriend from the area” while officers questioned employees and witnesses of the altercation between the two men.

Surat was told she could leave the scene, yet her boyfriend had to stay. Surat did not leave and obstructed and struck an officer.

According to an affidavit obtained by the Coloradoan, force was required because Surat hit Klasmer multiple times, grabbed him by the throat and resisted arrest.

Klasmer was placed on paid administrative leave following the incident, yet returned to full duty on June 1. 

Fort Collins former Police Chief John Hutto resigned only days after the altercation, citing “significant challenges” in the department after holding the position for five years.

After the video of the confrontation surfaced and popularized, several citizens gathered in front of City Hall to protest police brutality and the specific altercation, including members of Surat’s sorority and the Conservative Interest Group.

Surat and her family also spoke with Good Morning America and said the altercation between Surat and Klasmer left her with bruises, a concussion and a contusion to her chin. At the time, Surat said that the area on her chin was numb to the touch and that she had difficulty eating.

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According to FCPS, the incident was captured on Klasmer’s body camera. FCPS plan on releasing the body camera videos after the district attorney’s prosecution has concluded.