Matthew James Tello
Matthew James Tello (Boulder County Sheriff's Office)

A Boulder man accused of trying to strangle a police officer after she tried to place him in handcuffs last February was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation Friday for one count of felony menacing.

Matthew Tello, 25, also will have to complete 40 hours of community service, anger management and substance abuse treatment and evaluation, according to Boulder District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Catherine Olguin.

After originally pleading not guilty in June, Tello pleaded guilty to the felony menacing count -- a Class 5 felony -- the week his trial was set to begin in February. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropping the three original assault charges, including one count of first-degree assault.

According to prosecutors, on the night of Feb. 17, 2013, Tello was on his bicycle with a friend riding on the handlebars in the 3200 block of 28th Street.

A witness said that while she was pulling out of a parking lot, Tello's passenger got off the bicycle and began banging his hands on the car, before circling around to the right side of the vehicle and kicking the front passenger-side door, causing significant damage.

Tello and the other man then left the area, and witnesses called police.

A witness said Tello later came back to look for his wallet before leaving the scene again.

Shortly after officers aired a description of the suspects, Officer Beth McNalley saw Tello on his bicycle in a dirt lot in the 2600 block of 28th Street and attempted to contact him. According to police reports, Tello began swearing at her. McNalley attempted to put Tello in handcuffs, fearing he was either going to run or fight her.

McNalley was able to put one handcuff on Tello's left wrist, but he grabbed her neck and began squeezing with his right hand, according to police reports.

McNalley was able to press her emergency button on her radio and told Tello twice she would shoot him if he did not let go. At one point, she was able to knock his hand away from her throat, but he again grabbed her.

Another officer arrived on scene, observed McNalley and Tello fighting and was able to tackle Tello and handcuff him even as he continued to resist arrest, according to the report. The officer noted McNalley started coughing and had an unusually raspy voice.

McNalley was taken to Boulder Community Hospital. She had red marks on her neck and pain swallowing.

Tello is described as 5-foot-10, while McNalley is about 5-foot-1. On scene, Tello told officers, "I'm drunk, it's my birthday," according to the report. Officers noted his speech was slurred and they also found a flask containing what appeared to be alcohol.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars.