Veteran Phoenix police officer pleads not guilty to assault charges

Jun 13, 2019, 11:10 AM | Updated: Aug 9, 2019, 10:40 am
(Twitter Photo)...
(Twitter Photo)
(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix police officer accused of assaulting a suspect in a store pleaded not guilty in court Thursday morning, according to a report.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had filed a direct complaint of aggravated assault against Officer Tim Baiardi in May, who allegedly attacked a homeless man suspected of shoplifting.

The class 6 felony carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

ABC15 reported that Baiardi will be allowed to travel.

Court records showed he requested permission to temporarily leave the state and country.

Video from store surveillance cameras at a Walmart near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road in early December showed Baiardi slapping and hitting a handcuffed Roger Moran.

Moran also was kneed two to three times and punched four to five times, police said after they watched the video.

The 22-year-old allegedly fought with the officer while being taken into custody.

The county attorney’s office began investigating the complaint in February.

Baiardi, a 17-year veteran, was placed on administrative leave.

The department has been under intense scrutiny for excessive use of force among officers for over a year.

Earlier this week, a viral cellphone video showing an officer sweep kicking the legs out from under a handcuffed man pushed the department to launch an investigation.

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Veteran Phoenix police officer pleads not guilty to assault charges