Thermopolis Police Release More Body Cam Video Of Mascorro Arrests

Responding to Cowboy State Daily public records requests, the Thermopolis Police Department has released more body cam video of arrests by Sgt. Mike Mascorro, who broke into a suspect’s home illegally last year and killed him in a shootout.

Clair McFarland

March 27, 20249 min read

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The Thermopolis Police Department has been releasing body camera videos featuring tense encounters between criminal suspects and a sergeant who was involved last year in an illegal break-in that led to a fatal shootout.

The releases are in response to Cowboy State Daily public records requests.

Thermopolis Police Department Sgt. Mike Mascorro triggered a fatal shootout April 28, 2023, after illegally breaking into a suspect’s home without a warrant, according to a special prosecutor who reviewed the case. Mascorro killed the suspect, and the suspect seriously injured Mascorro.

Mascorro was not charged with homicide, in part because Wyoming law offers latitude to officers acting within the scope of their duties, though not necessarily lawfully.

Wyoming Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), the agency that certifies Wyoming law enforcement agents, began investigating other unrelated conduct complaints against Mascorro starting in October 2023, though POST had cleared Mascorro in a prior investigation earlier that year.

April 27, 2019

One of the videos the Thermopolis Police Department released this month shows Mascorro’s April 27, 2019, arrest of a Thermopolis woman, Tara Sonesen.

This case is not mentioned in a public summary of POST's earlier investigation of Mascorro, where he was cleared of wrongdoing. POST Director Chris Walsh cannot discuss whether Sonesen’s arrest is part of the new POST investigation against Mascorro because it’s still active, he told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.  

Mascorro had been trying to confront a male, Keith Searle, regarding a warrant for Searle’s arrest, says the video’s narrator. The video depicts Sonesen in what Mascorro called an act of police interference.

But Sonesen’s interference charge and a concurrent breach of peace charge from that day both were dismissed. The dismissals came as part of a plea agreement in which Soneson pleaded instead to misdemeanor methamphetamine possession, Hot Springs County Attorney Jill Logan told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday after reviewing the case file.

For the meth conviction, Soneson was released after serving two days in jail.

The other 28 days of her 30-day sentence were suspended.

Watch on YouTube

‘Get On The Ground Now!’

The video begins with Sonesen asking Mascorro questions as he approaches Searle’s home on Big Horn Street.  

“Yeah, I’m lookin’ for Keith,” says Mascorro to Sonesen, whom the video shows standing outside the home in a summer dress and sandals.


“Because I’m lookin’ for him,” answers Mascorro. “I’m not here to see you.”

Mascorro calls through the screen door of the home for Searle.

Sonesen offers to go get him. She steps in front of Mascorro, opens the door, and calls out, “Babe –”

“Get back,” says Mascorro, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her away from the opened screen door.

“Don’t f***ing touch me!” yells Sonesen.

Mascorro grabs her arm with both gloved hands and pulls, commanding her to get back.

“Stop f***ing putting your hands on me!” she yells. She retreats into the home then turns to face Mascorro.

He shoots his taser at her belly area through the open door.

“Hey, my daughter’s right here,” a man warns from inside as Sonesen collapses, screaming.

“Stop-stop-stop-stop-stop,” Sonesen pleads.

“Get out here now,” commands Mascorro.

Sonesen gets up, still screaming and yelling the F-word. She walks outside.

Mascorro commands her to get on the ground.

“I am,” she says, before dropping to the ground with a pealing scream, as if struck by a sudden pain.

“Get on the ground now!” Mascorro says again.

She protests that she’s already on the ground, while doubling sideways over her belly with her legs outstretched.

“Oh,” she whimpers, “get them (the prongs of the taser) out of me.”

Mascorro shouts for Sonesen to get her hands out in front of her.

“I can’t move them! Ow!” she screams in response.

The taser sounds again. Sonesen cries, screams and moans.

‘She Wanted To Bow Up On Me’

Mascorro calls for Searle to come outside, and he calls for backup. The sergeant then has a brief discussion with Searle about a warrant for his arrest.

“I’m sorry you have to see this but when I get this type of – when she acts like this,” Mascorro begins, explaining Sonesen’s tasing to Searle. “I don’t need her fighting me, man. I know you were in the house. I come in to get you and she got in my way, OK? That’s why she got tased, and she wanted to bow up on me, so.”

From the ground, Sonesen questions whether Mascorro could walk into the house.

Mascorro says he could because he knew Searle was in there.

Sonesen says she didn’t know that.

“That’s what happens when you don’t know the law and you try to get in my way, you understand? So now you’re placed under arrest for interference,” Mascorro says.

Searle comes out of the house and sits down on an object outside the door.

After staying quiet for a while, Sonesen starts whimpering and crying again.

Mascorro tells his radio the prongs are still in Sonesen.

“I don’t understand why you fought me,” says Mascorro.

“I didn’t,” the woman argues.

Mascorro says she got tased because she was trying to go into the home to alert Searle to Mascorro’s presence. He tells her she fought while he tried to pull her back.

“I wasn’t trying to fight him; he didn’t have to put his hands on me,” she says, adding that a man abused her in the past and it now disturbs her for a man to put his hands on her that way.

Mascorro directs Sonesen to crawl to her so he can handcuff her and eventually get the prongs out of her.

“I’m wearing a skirt,” she says.

“You should have thought of that before you wanted to fight,” says Mascorro, then reassuring her he’ll get the prongs out of her.

Watch on YouTube

Second Incident

She begs to be handcuffed so Mascorro can get the prongs out. Then she tenses during the handcuffing, saying it hurts to move her arm that way.

Mascorro helps her get seated on a toolbox. She shudders and weeps.

“Make it stop,” she cries.

Mascorro directs Searle to approach and be handcuffed. Then he pulls the taser prongs out of Sonesen and retrieves her shoe for her.

Both Mascorro and Searle try to give Sonesen advice, who says she doesn’t want to hear it.

“Why does it hurt?” asks Sonesen.

“’Cause it’s like a little needle and it pokes in your skin, and it probably got a muscle,” says Mascorro.

He tries to walk her to the police vehicle as she begs not to go.

The body camera depicts a blur and a scuffle, but it’s recording too closely to show how Sonesen and Mascorro each maneuver.

“Stop fighting me!” yells Mascorro.

“OK, stop fighting me,” she says. “Ow! Ow! Ow! My hand!”

Mascorro and another male voice – presumably Searle – both tell her to relax.

She catches her breath while moving into the police vehicle.

The camera captures the car ride then the inside of a building, where Mascorro leads Sonesen, still catching her breath and fighting back tears, into an elevator. He pushes a strand of hair out of her eye at her request.


Another video features Mascorro’s April 2, 2018, trespassing arrest of Shane Boren.

POST investigated the incident with Boren and opted not to take action against Mascorro, except that Mascorro received an “oral reprimand” for not activating his body camera earlier.

The POST summary letter says Mascorro’s camera did not power up by the time he arrived at the call. By the time the camera comes on, Boren is being held face-down on pavement in a pool of blood from his face, which is intentionally blurred out.  

The other agent’s camera also was not turned on until later, at the hospital, says the summary letter.

POST Director Chris Walsh did not find clear and convincing evidence of any violations of POST rules, says a summary letter on the incident, which is included in a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation report.

Boren was arrested near a local motel from which he’d been trespassed prior, and provided a breath sample showing a 0.45% breath-alcohol content, says a note on the video.

Boren was ultimately convicted of trespassing, interfering with a peace officer and breach of peace, according to his court file.

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What It Shows

The video TPD released to its YouTube channel this month does not show Boren’s interference incident, but rather its aftermath, in which Boren’s face is blurred and Mascorro is calling for an ambulance.

Mascorro saw Boren leaving the area, tried to detain Boren, but felt Boren was going to assault him, the letter says. Mascorro performed a take-down.

Boren sustained a cut above his right eye and cheek, reportedly.

Mascorro turned on his body camera as Boren was being handcuffed, says the summary letter.

Graphic, Warning

The video depicts Boren lying belly-down, then slouched on the ground and arguing with police officers.

“Get off me,” says Boren.

“He started fighting me, so I took him down,” explains Mascorro to another officer on scene.

Boren argues with this statement.

The second officer rolls Boren onto his side, and the video reveals Boren’s bloody, blurred face and a small puddle of blood on the ground.

Boren calls Mascorro a slew of foul names, denies having resisted him and accuses Mascorro of having hit him.

Mascorro says he didn’t hit Boren.

Boren demands Mascorro to train the “cop camera” on him.

The other agent questions Boren about why he keeps coming onto the property despite being trespassed.

Boren’s words are slurred. He sits and waits for the ambulance while the other agent withdraws a large bottle of alcohol from within his sweatshirt, then a knife from his pocket.

Boren later received nine stitches in his face, says the POST summary letter.

Boren has past convictions, including for beating or torturing an animal and for DUI, his court file says.


POST Director Chris Walsh received “varying reports” about Boren’s April 2, 2018, arrest, the letter says.

A DCI investigator reviewing POST’s investigation called it an “extremely thorough and well documented investigation.”

“Many allegations were brought against Sgt. Mascorro and all were investigated,” and Mascorro was cleared, says the DCI report.

Others Here

TPD has released other videos of arrests by Mascorro as well, including one that happened at the One-Eyed Buffalo bar, and another involving a speeding citation that was appealed from the municipal court. But the higher court affirmed the municipal court’s enforcement of the citation.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter