Pensacola Officer Arrested for Battering DUI Suspect

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.


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5 Responses to Pensacola Officer Arrested for Battering DUI Suspect

  1. jnc36rcpd says:

    This may not have been the most masterful handcuffing technique, but there was nothing unlawful, excessive, or out of policy (in most of the policies I’ve read).

    The termination and prosecution seem to be the reaction of a department command staff that neither works the street nor attends training.

    • Randall says:

      jnc, I think the question is, was his firing and arrest motivated by other issues he had withing the department? This incident alone seems way too benign to warrant termination and prosecution.


  2. jnc36rcpd says:

    Randall, you raise a very valid point. I don’t know anything about the culture of the Pensacola PD or its command staff, but there are certainly some administrators who would use dash-cam footage to witch-hunt their officers.

    • Randall says:

      jnc, I don’t know any thing about PPD. Just a question I have based on things I’ve seen. My agency does not do “routine video reviews” in part to maintain officer trust with the Command structure.


  3. jnc36rcpd says:

    The Maryland State Police do perform routine video reviews of their dash-cam videos. As I understand it, woe to the trooper who makes a traffic stop without a hat and has a sergeant who dislikes him or her.

    My department does not do video reviews. To some extent, I think it is because video review would create more work for executive officers. I also believe it is because there is a realization that the big-brother nature of such review would not help the climate of the agency.

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