Bennie Villanueva

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Service Record

Pueblo Colorado Police Department

Rank Corporal
Dates of Service Ended October 15, 2023.[1]
Salary $72,068 (2020)[2]
Last Known Status Retired[1]


2019 Chief's Award of Merit

In 2019, Villanueva and other officers received the Chief's Award of Merit, which is given for an "outstanding act or performance".[3]

2020 Department Commendation

In 2020, Villanueva and other officers received a Department Commendation, which is given "for an outstanding act or achievement which brings credit to the department, and which involves performance above and beyond that required by the employee’s basic assignment".[4]

Incident Reports

2020 Assault of Rigoberto Jimenez

On July 25, 2020, Villanueva got into a fight with Jimenez.[5]

Response Timeline

In November 2020, Villanueva was charged with felony second-degree assault.[5]

On November 17, 2020, Villanueva was placed on paid administrative leave.[6]

On April 12, 2021, the court refused to indict Villanueva for second-degree assault due to a lack of probable cause.[5]

In April 2021, Villanueva was charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault.[5]

In June 2021, Villanueva pleaded not guilty.[7]

On December 13, 2021, Villanueva pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to six months of probation.[5]

On December 28, 2021, the court released Villanueva from probation, agreeing with his attorney that Villanueva had performed the required community service and paid the required fines, and should be allowed to return to work.[5]

2022 Arrest of Cristy Gonzales

News report with body-worn camera footage

On February 21, 2022, Gonzales was suspected of stealing a vehicle. Villanueva pursued until Gonzales' vehicle ran out of gas. Gonzales exited the vehicle and was taken to the ground by officers. Villanueva deployed his Taser.[8]

The incident was captured on officers' body-worn cameras.[8]

Response Timeline

The assistant district attorney filed an excessive force complaint.[8]

The department opened an internal investigation.[8]

The department concluded that Villanueva used excessive force.[8]

The department issued a letter of reprimand to Villanueva for using the Taser "for no apparent reason".[8]

The department did not report the use of force to the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) board.[8]

On October 15, 2023, Villanueva retired from the department.[1]

On November 26, 2023, Gonzales filed a federal lawsuit against Villanueva and the police chief.[9]

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