Phoenix officer faces prosecution for allegedly beating handcuffed suspect
PHOENIX – Prosecutors are moving ahead with charges against a Phoenix police officer accused of beating a handcuffed shoplifting suspect late last year, according to court documents.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed a direct complaint against Officer Tim Baiardi on Monday accusing him of aggravated assault.
A prosecutor files a direct complaint to specify the defendant’s alleged felony offenses. A judge reviews the complaint and determines if there is enough evidence to issue a summons ordering the defendant to appear at a preliminary hearing.
The proposed charge is a class 6 felony, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
In the complaint, Baiardi is accused of causing physical injury to Roger Moran, the shoplifting suspect, while he was restrained.
MCAO opened a criminal investigation into Baiardi on Feb. 20. The 17-year veteran with the force has been on administrative leave and assigned to his home since then.
“When I became aware of this incident I was shocked and appalled at the conduct of one of my officers,” Chief Jeri Williams said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“I immediately ordered a criminal investigation.”
Phoenix police were provided with video of the Dec. 8 incident at a store near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road.
The 22-year-old suspect allegedly fought with the officer while being taken into custody.
After the suspect was handcuffed, the officer allegedly struck him two to three times with his knee and four to five times with his closed fist, police said.
“This type of activity will not be tolerated by me or the Phoenix Police Department and it will be dealt with accordingly,” Williams’ statement said.
“This adversely impacts our reputation, which we work diligently to uphold every day. Let me assure you that the actions of one officer are not indicative of the hardworking men and women who wear the Phoenix Police Department badge.”