A Louisiana State Police trooper was arrested and charged with simple battery in New Orleans Thursday (June 15) after being accused of kicking a handcuffed man and smashing that man’s head through the rear window of a patrol unit, the State Police announced.
Trooper John Neal, 55, was on assignment in New Orleans Feb. 11 when he spotted a reported stolen car at Almonaster Boulevard and Louisa Street in Gentilly, according to a news release sent by spokeswoman Trooper Melissa Matey. When he tried to confront the passengers, a 19-year-old man jumped out and ran away, according to the State Police investigation.
Additional troopers in the area caught the fleeing suspect two blocks away near Louisa and Powhattan streets. One of the troopers present on the scene told detectives that Neal arrived a short time later, walked towards the teenager who was handcuffed and lying facedown on the ground, and kicked him in the head, according to State Police.
Neal then picked up the victim, walked him to a nearby patrol unit and smashed his head into the rear window causing it to shatter, police said. The alleged battery was captured on surveillance video in addition to body cameras worn by Neal and another trooper, the agency said.
Neal took the 19-year-old to University Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries, according to State Police. He was then booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail on possession of a stolen automobile, resisting an officer and littering.
Detectives investigating the incident determined that Neal’s use of force was not justified, leading to his arrest, Matey said. Neal, who remains on forced leave from State Police, is out on bond, court records suggest.
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