Review of body camera footage shows Platte City officers acted appropriately in armed standoff

The Platte City Police Department’s review of two officers’ encounter with an armed individual last week showed all appropriate policies were followed.

 Christopher Aguilar

Christopher Aguilar

No one was harmed and no shots were fired during a foot chase and brief standoff last month that resulted in the arrest of Christopher Aguilar, a 19-year-old resident of Platte City. Through a public records request, The Citizen recently reviewed about 25 minutes worth of footage from the body camera of officer Christian Koelliker, involved in Aguilar’s apprehension along with recently sworn in officer Daniel Jackson.

In the early part of the foot chase, Jackson’s body camera fell off so no recording from his vantage point was available.

“They survived, and they didn’t hurt someone unnecessarily,” said Lt. Al DeValkenaere of the Platte City Police Department.

The incident started at about 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 after an off-duty officer spotted Aguilar, a known wanted party, in the area of the Apple Market and Dollar General in Platte City. Officers had dealt with him earlier in the day, but he later walked away from a local hospital after being evaluated for a possible medical condition.

Upon arrival to Dollar General, Koelliker turned on his body camera to document the proceedings.

Aguilar can be seen dropping to the floor of the store while pleading for leniency. Eventually, the officers escort him outside where he drops a large black backpack and takes off running south down the sidewalk before going around behind the building and fleeing back north.

The officers follow him down an embankment and into a rocky ledge of brush overlooking Interstate 29.

At that time, Koelliker notices Aguilar has produced a handgun, and he can be seen crouched near some brush on the steep hillside. Both officers draw their weapons and order him to drop the weapon. Thinking he threw the gun, Jackson moves in to handcuff the suspect while Koelliker begins a lengthy search using his flashlight in an attempt to locate the gun.

An additional unit from the Platte County Sheriff’s Office showed up to assist, and eventually, the gun was located in the suspect’s right-front pocket. According to DeValkenaere, the weapon, although loaded at the time, was later found to be incapable of firing a shot due to a lack of a firing pin, and Aguilar indicated he had wanted officers to shoot and kill him.

Koelliker has been with the department for 2½ years, while Jackson was in the final stages of his training before being officially sworn in as an officer three days after the chase. This was the first encounter with an armed individual for both Koelliker and Jackson.

After being taken back to the alleyway behind the businesses, Aguilar indicated to emergency personnel that he had swallowed “an 8-ball of methamphetamine.” Footage eventually shows him going into convulsions, and he ended up being taken to a local hospital to receive treatment.

With evidence being secured, Jackson can be seen and Koelliker heard on the camera footage becoming emotional over the proceedings of the previous 25 minutes.

Aguilar faces four felony counts in this incident, including assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance. He remains in custody at the Platte County Detention Center in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bond.