A federal grand jury indicted a former Missouri police chief on Wednesday, accusing him of violating the civil rights of a man he allegedly assaulted after rescuing the man’s daughter from a pond, the Kansas City Star reported.
Former Greenwood Chief Greg Hallgrimson, 50, who resigned in May, allegedly struck a man identified in court documents as “J.Z.” in the face while he posed no threat, court documents said.
CrimeOnline previously reported that Jonathon Zicarelli appeared at the Greenwood Police Department on December 16, 2018, and said that he’d put his infant daughter into a pond and watched her sink. Hallgrimson and Corporal T Calhoun rescued the child from the icy water, performed CPR, and wrapped her in a uniform shirt until paramedics arrived. The baby survived, and Zicarelli was arrested on a charge of domestic assault.
According to the Star, Zicarelli’s previous defense attorney said that the body camera of another officer showed the alleged assault at the police station after the arrest. Susan Dill said that Hallgrimson grabbed Zicarelli by the throat and threw him to the floor, then sat on his chest and beat him.
Zicarelli was handcuffed at the time, she said, adding that Hallgrimson told him, “You deserve to die.” Other officers pulled the chief away, she said.
That video has not been released. FBI investigators visited Zicarelli in jail, the Star reported.
Hallgrimson’s attorney, the Star reported, said that the ex-sheriff planned to plead not guilty and “looks forward to all the facts being presented in court.”
US Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Timothy Garrison said that “nobody is above the law.”
“Any officer who abuses their authority will be held accountable for violating the Constitution they are sworn to uphold,” Garrison said.
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[Featured image: Jonathon Zicarelli/Jackson County Detention Center]