Cop guilty of using excessive force during arrest

Baytown police officer Jon Fitzgerald was convicted of using excessive force. Jurors found Fitzgerald guilty of bashing Ryan Sanders' head against a concrete curb several times.

April 28, 2010 3:56:49 PM PDT
A Baytown police officer convicted of beating a man after a chase must surrender his peace officer's license, take anger management classes and write a letter of apology to his victim.

The punishment was handed down by a judge shortly after a jury on Wednesday convicted Jon Fitzgerald of using excessive force during the arrest of Ryan Sanders on November 13, 2008. Also included in his sentence is a year's probation, 40 hours of community service, a ban from contacting Sanders and another written apology to an officer who witnessed the assault.

Fitzgerald's conviction and punishment came one day after Sanders and Jennifer Beatty took the stand in Fitzgerald's trial. They were on the motorcycle involved in the chase that instigated the beating.

Sanders and another police officer testified that Fitzgerald bashed Sanders' head into a concrete curb several times after the chase had come to an end and he was arrested.

During his testimony, Sanders demonstrated with a prosecutor on the floor of the courtroom how he says the officer assaulted him. He also said he thought that the police officer would get away with the assault.

The officer said he later confronted Fitzgerald at the police station, and Fitzgerald denied doing anything wrong.

This was the second trial for Fitzgerald on the charge of official oppression. His first trial ended with a hung jury.