by Sandy Malone and Christopher Berg
Greenwood, MO - A Grand Jury decided Wednesday to indict a now-former police chief for beating a man who tried to down a baby girl.
The initial incident occurred on Dec. 29, 2018 after 29-year-old Jonathon Stephen Zicarelli showed up at the Greenwood Police Department and made a confession.
He told officers that he had tried to drown his six-month-old daughter in an icy retention pond, the Kansas City Star reported.
Greenwood Police Chief Greg Hallgrimson and another officer raced to the pond the man had indicated and found the baby girl floating face up, unconscious.
They pulled her from the water, undressed her, and wrapped her up in the police chief’s shirt to warm her, the Kansas City Star reported.
Then they took lifesaving measures as they waited for medics to arrive.
The baby was transported to the hospital and treated for severe hypothermia, among other injuries, the Kansas City Star reported.
It was estimated that the baby had been in the water for about 10 minutes and her survival has been called a miracle.
Afterwards, the chief went back to the police station and placed the baby’s father under arrest, the Kansas City Star reported.
Zicarelli’s attorney has alleged that Chief Hallgrimson used excessive force when he was arresting her client.
Susan Dill told the Kansas City Star that there is bodycam from another officer that showed the police chief grabbed Zicarelli by the throat, threw him to the floor, and punched him in the face.
Dill said that Chief Hallgrimson sat on Zicarelli’s chest and told the father “You deserve to die” as he beat him.
She said the police chief had to be pulled off Zicarelli to end the assault.
Dill said her client had suffered injuries to his face and jaw, the Kansas City Star reported.
The bodycam video has not been released to the public and the attorney’s account of the incident has not been confirmed, the Kansas City Star reported.
Dill said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had visited her client in his jail cell to explore criminal civil rights violations.
Zicarelli has since been charged with first-degree domestic assault and pleaded not guilty.
He told officers that he was stressed out by the holidays and trying to support his family, and that he was trying to make things easier for his wife by killing their baby. Zicarelli is scheduled to go to trial in December.
Hallgrimson resigned from his position May 29.
Now, Hallgrimson has been indicted for violating the suspect's civil rights.
“Law enforcement officers serve the public every day with courage and integrity,” U.S. Attorney for the Western Missouri District Tim Garrison said, according to WDAF. “But nobody is above the law. Any officer who abuses their authority will be held accountable for violating the Constitution they are sworn to uphold.”
A GoFundMe was established to help Hallgrimson with legal fees.