Police defend officer accused of beating man at Evansville event

Evansville Police are defending an officer accused in online posts of beating a man this weekend.

Witnesses say the altercation happened at the Sculpt EVV event.

Robert Evidon says he was attacked by Officer Todd Mattingly after being told to shut down a concert at Haynie's Corner. Police, however, say Evidon was drunk and was cussing out Officer Mattingly, and that's what lead to the altercation.

14 News heard from both sides, who are equally adamant about what happened.

"I just never had seen anything like that. I couldn't believe it. Even minutes later, I couldn't believe that I'd actually seen that," witness Gretchin Irons says.

Police say Evidon's entertainment crew had a permit to perform at Haynie's Corner until midnight Saturday.

When they started receiving calls like this, "You think you could send somebody over there and tell them that if they got to have outside speakers, they cut it off at midnight," the caller said.

They sent Officer Todd Mattingly to shut it down.

"Evidon was told that if he did not turn the volume down, he could be cited under the disorderly conduct law," Evansville Police Sgt. Jason Cullum says.

Police say Evidon, who goes by the nickname Firefox, admitted to being drunk and said he hadn't slept in two days. Police say when Mattingly asked Evidon to shut down the show, Evidon refused, and then resisted arrest.

"Police officer grabs Fox and then he picked him up and body slammed him hard, onto the ground," Irons says.

Irons is a friend of Evidon's and says she saw what happened. Both she and Evidon say Mattingly needlessly struck Evidon multiple times, before finally arresting him.

"Officer Mattingly used an arm-bar takedown to get Evidon to the ground. Officer Mattingly used his bodyweight to control Evidon's movements. At no time, did Officer Mattingly strike Evidon with an impact weapon, his fist, his hands, his knees, his feet, or any other object," Cullum says.

We attended Evidon's misdemeanor hearing on Monday. He did not comment further on this situation, but his next appearance in court is set for July 18.

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