Evansville officer cleared in alleged beating

An internal investigation by the Evansville Police Department has cleared Officer Todd Mattingly from all allegations of excessive force in the arrest of Robert Evidon.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the Evansville Police Department defended the officer accused in online posts of beating Evidon.

Some witnesses say the altercation happened at the Sculpt EVV event.

Evidon says he was attacked by Officer Mattingly after the officer told him to shut down a concert at Haynie's Corner.

Police say Evidon was drunk and cursing at Officer Mattingly.

In an earlier story 14 News reported from both sides.

"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 that Evidon's entertainment crew, Opal Fly, had a permit to perform at Haynie's Corner until midnight during the Sculpt EVV event.

When dispatch 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, a friend of Evidon, says she saw what happened. Both she and Evidon says Mattingly needlessly struck Evidon multiple times, before finally arresting him.

According to Sgt. Cullum, Mattingly used an arm-bar takedown to get Evidon to the ground, using his bodyweight to control Evidon's movement.

"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.

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