The Pensacola Police Department fired K9 Officer Christopher Geraci for excessive force on Friday, then arrested him for misdemeanor battery in connection with his hit and run/DUI investigation on August 2.
Suspect Abbi Bonds struck several cars with her late model Chevy Camaro at 2:30 in the morning. Her vehicle was disabled with heavy damage and pulled to the side of the road several blocks from the crash scene when Geraci found her.
After Geraci orders her back into her car several times, she refuses while continuing to talk on her cell phone. He attempts to handcuff her. As he does so, he tries to rotate her against her car. Her head and upper body carom off the Camaro. He again tries to brace her up against the car. Geraci then completes handcuffing her.
Though Bonds did not file a complaint, the department said that the officer’s dashcam recording of the incident was found during a “routine review of video footage” and an IA investigation was initiated. She was not seriously injured.
Pensacola Chief Chip Simmons said Geraci used unreasonable force. A press release quoted the chief saying, “This type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
I can attest from personal experience that patience is sometimes overrun by frustration. Better judgment and suspect control in this case may have led to a different outcome.