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VIDEO: Deputy suspended for using taekwondo kicks on inmate

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Sep 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-11 09:54:27-04

You have to see it to believe it: A Denver, Colorado sheriff's deputy used taekwondo to subdue an inmate.

But who started the fight in the first place? 

In the video, inmate John Cardenas can be seen looking at Deputy Roberto Roena and other deputies talking in the corridor as the inmate hangs in the doorway leading to the cells.

Roena, who is also a taekwondo instructor, was telling other deputies how he practices martial arts to "stay in shape," according to a disciplinary letter from the Denver Department of Safety.

In the video, Roena takes a sip from a soda bottle, sets it down on a desk and throws a martial arts kick into the air. 

According to the letter, Cardenas admitted saying "that isn't a kick" and "you ain't s---."

Deputy Roena then approaches Cardenas and throws a few sparing punches in the air and makes a partial side kick toward the inmate standing in the doorway.

Cardenas makes a couple half-hearted punches in the air, but doesn't come near hitting the deputy. 

Eventually they began grappling and Roena gets the inmate in a headlock and takes him to the ground. Several deputies rush up and separate the two men and restrain Cardenas.

Deputy Roberto Roena, a 15-year department veteran, has been suspended for 90 days following an internal investigation.

Roena was notified of the suspension July 29 for the fight that happened in April 2013.