Nearly a dozen charges filed against former officers accused of beating a man


Nearly a year after two Gwinnett County police officers were fired for allegedly beating a man while he was handcuffed, a Grand Jury decided to file almost a dozen criminal charges against them.

Demetrius Hollins’ attorney says the indictment is a good start, but there’s still a long way to go. In the meantime, we’ve learned Michael Bongiovanni and Robert McDonald will plead not guilty to charges.

Now they’re getting ready for trial.

Hollins was bloodied and bruised when the two former police officers were caught on video hitting and kicking him during a traffic stop. Ten months later, criminal charges have been filed against Bongiovanni and McDonald.

According to the 10-count indictment, a blow to the face is the reason why Bongiovanni was charged with battery. The former Gwinnett County Sergeant is also accused of pointing a gun at Hollins, burning him with a taster and lying about him resisting arrest.

Mike Puglise, Bongiovanni’s attorney, says his client did nothing wrong.

“Bongiovanni, in a split second, highly-intense situation of deescalating the situation, did everything he was trained to,” said Puglise.

But it was McDonald who was seen running up to Hollins and kicking him in the head while he was handcuffed. In the same indictment, he’s charged with aggravated assault, battery, and false writings.

But McDonald's attorney says his client's actions were brief and have nothing to do with Bongiovanni. So he wants a separate trial.

Hollins attorney, Justin Miller, just wants justice.

“We know that these two are bad, and we don’t know how many others, so I’m happy there’s a criminal investigation, and they’re going to go to trial so we can see what’s going on,” said Miller.

Attorneys say they’re still waiting to find out when the arraignment will be.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you