Kentucky Cop Fired For Choking Handcuffed Hospital Patient
A Kentucky police officer was relieved from duty on Monday after officials voted at a public disciplinary hearing to dismiss him for choking a handcuffed ICU patient earlier this year.
Paducah police were guarding Joseph Cerullo at Lourdes Hospital on June 29. The man had been charged for allegedly assaulting a woman at the hospital’s Subway restaurant one day prior.
When doctors and police decided Cerullo should be taken to jail instead of a mental facility, an altercation occurred between him and officer Michael Redmon. Hospital employees including nurses and one doctor testified on Monday that the cop grabbed the handcuffed man and pinned him to a wall with his hand around his neck.
Cerullo had reportedly began yelling at Redmon that he was “a fucking pig,” before the officer initiated his assault. More than one witness testified that Cerullo’s feet were off the ground as he was being held against the wall and one witness testified that his face turned purple.
Witnesses then testified that Cerullo was pushed against another wall and to the floor before a male nurse helped get the him back onto his hospital bed.
Paducah police launched an internal investigation after the incident and determined that Redmon violated department policy and he was suspended with pay on June 30. The investigators recommended that the officer should be disciplined and receive more training, or be fired.
Police chief Brandon Barnhill testified Monday that on July 15, he told Redmon he could resign but the officer refused so the termination process moved forward.
At the public disciplinary hearing, the Paducah City Commission voted unanimously to adopt a motion that would dismiss Redmon for violating department “standards of conduct” and “response to resistance” policies.
The commission said that the decision resulted from the fact that Redmon used “more force than necessary”- a choke hold – “when there was no immediate threat to his life by the handcuffed suspect,” and that he exhibited “conduct unbecoming an officer” that reflected poorly on the department.
Redmon, who had been with the department since 2003, is expected to appeal the decision and must file motions in McCracken Circuit Court within 30 days to do so.
The officer claims that as Cerullo became more combative, he attempted to keep him from fleeing by putting his hand on his chest. As they both moved, Redmon said, his hand slid upward – making it look like he was choking the man.
Redmon said he promptly pulled his hand away but when Cerullo tried to move again, he was forced to pin him against another wall so he wouldn’t escape. The officer maintains that he did not intentionally choke the suspect and said he doesn’t know why the nurses testified he did.