NewsKATC Investigates


New Video of Incident That Left An Officer Facing Charges

Posted at 11:02 PM, Mar 25, 2021

New body camera and surveillance videos show the night an Opelousas man was allegedly beaten while handcuffed to a hospital bed by a now former Opelousas Police officer.

That former officer, Tyron Andrepont, is charged with five counts of malfeasance in connection to this case.

Jonah Coleman was the man in the hospital bed, and we now hear from Jonah's mother for the first time about what happened on the night she says her son was having a mental breakdown.

KATC was given the videos from someone closely connected to the case and we were able to verify their authenticity. The videos also mirror what a State Trooper says in a report to be the facts of this case.

WARNING: Some of the video shown is graphic

It was around 11:30 p.m. on the night of October 30, 2019.

The female voice heard in the body cam video is Flora Coleman, saying, "He's mental. He has been in crisis for three days." She went on to tell officers her then 20-year-old son Jonah had seen his psychiatrist days before and had been taking all of his medication.

"He was scared of everything," she tells us. "Even the shower, he was scared of the water."

Flora can be heard in the video saying, "You are going to make me cry," to which Jonah replies, "I'm alright, momma."

Later in the video, you see Jonah walk himself to the ambulance, get inside, and lay back on the stretcher. He later gets up and exits the ambulance. Jonah then gets back inside and the medic allows him to sit in an upright seat. Jonah was taken to Opelousas General Hospital for an evaluation.

"We waited five hours and they wouldn't tell us anything," adds Flora. "We kept checking and they would only say, 'We are getting him situated.'"

Next comes video from inside the hospital. We're told that outside the door, a security guard and medical personnel try to get Jonah into the room and take him down to the ground, where he is handcuffed. Officer Tyron Andrepont, who is now facing charges in this case, comes in from the top of your screen.

Moments later, the handcuffed 20-year-old enters the room and sits on the bed. Andrepont speaks to Jonah, but the video has no audio.

At minute seven in the video, we see two medical professionals in the room, one security guard, and Andrepont. Jonah moves forward and a medical professional pushes him down. Jonah tries to sit up, and seconds later, he is struck in the face by Andrepont. At this point, Jonah is still handcuffed.

Jonah's mother says, "I watched him try and get out the bed and I asked him why. He said, 'Mom I was trying to see for you guys. They were hurting me.'"

As restraints are being put on Jonah's legs, the video shows Andrepont putting his right hand around Jonah's throat and pushing his head back. 18 seconds later, Andrepont regrips the throat. Jonah moves around as the officer's hand is still on his throat, a hand that was there for a total of one minute and 13 seconds.

"I blame them all," adds Flora. "They were all involved."

At 9 minutes and 51 seconds into this video, Officer Andrepont puts his right arm around Jonah's neck, with his left arm pulling the right. Another officer walks into the room and stands at the bedside. Jonah remains in this position when a person, who appears to be a security guard, removes the handcuffs, with Andrepont's hands still clinched together around Jonah's throat.

He releases the hold 30 seconds later; the handcuffs are not yet off.

Police body cam video from the same hospital room shows medical professionals restraining Jonah's left arm to the bed, while Andrepont has his right arm still in one handcuff and appears to be pulling the arm behind Jonah, extending his arm.

This is where the videos we obtained end.

Jonah's mother says after hours in the waiting room, she was then told her son was in critical care.

"We went for an evaluation. Why is he in critical care when all we needed was paperwork?" she says.

Jonah's mother says that after about six hours they were allowed to see him as he was being transferred to another facility. She says Jonah's older brother noticed him limping and his lips looked abnormal.

"Jonah added, 'Momma, they beat me,'" she states.

His mother says Jonah had a busted lip and nose, developed dark rings around his eyes, had shoulder pain, and limped for about two months.

"They tortured him," she adds. "I feel they tortured and he was beaten and these are facilities that are supposed to take care of you, not hurt you."

She adds that Jonah often wakes up at night in cold sweats, overcome with fear. He's now in therapy and according to his mother had no encounters with police officers since that day two years ago.

We spoke with Andrepont's attorney, Kevin Stockstill, who says they have seen the hospital video and have an expert who says Andrepont followed proper procedure in this incident.

Andrepont has a pre-trial hearing in late April, with jury selection set for June. He has pleaded not guilty in this case.

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