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MOTHER: Son brutally attacked by police officer

By Darla Hernandez, Reporter , DHernandez@wsbt.com
Published On: Mar 27 2014 05:36:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 27 2014 05:49:54 PM CDT

A South Bend woman is accusing a city police officer of brutally beating her son and injuring her. WSBT's Darla Hernandez has the story.

SOUTH BEND -

A mother is speaking out in what she says is a vicious case of police brutality.

It's a case involving South Bend police officer Aaron Knepper, the suspect Tom Stevens and his mother Suzanne.

WSBT has learned from the St. Joseph County prosecutor's office no criminal charges will be filed against anyone tonight. However, charges could come in the future.

As of now, Tom Stevens will be released from police custody, but he's still in the hospital.

Stevens' mom Suzanne says her son was brutally attacked by Officer Knepper, and she feared her son was going to die right there in her driveway.

"I tried to get that policeman to stop beating my son," said Suzanne.

According to authorities, late Tuesday evening, South Bend Police Officer Aaron Knepper tried to pull over 55-year-old Tom Stevens for a traffic stop on Sunnymeade and Twyckenham Street.

Stevens did not pull over, continued to drive to his home and then got out of the vehicle.

That's when Stevens' mom Suzanne who lives with her son says he was brutally attacked by the officer.

"He got about half way up the drive way and these guys tazed him and with big long thing and they ripped his shirt off."

Suzanne says she watched the beating fearful for her son's life.

"He kept hitting my son punching in the jaw and chest my son's dentures fell out on the driveway."

The 76-year-old mother of Stevens says she grabbed Knepper's arm to stop hitting her son, and that's when the officer grabbed her.

"Look what that policeman did to my arm," Suzanne said. Can you imagine grabbing an old lady like this?"

Both Suzanne and Tom Stevens were arrested by police for resisting arrest and battery to an officer.

"This one police officer, I was told his name is Aaron Knepper, knocked my son down and kept beating him and beating him," Suzanne added.

Suzanne was booked in the St. Joseph County Jail, but Tom's injuries were so severe, he had to be hospitalized.

Stevens stated, "I guess he's alive, thank God, because I need him. I'm not well. I have blood clots in my lungs."

Suzanne says no family members have been allowed to see Tom while hospitalized, and she will never again be able to trust a police officer.

"Your supposed to help and protect people not destroy their lives."