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Former officer pleads guilty to perjury, assault in beating

September 22, 2021 GMT

DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) — A former Delaware police officer has pleaded guilty to assaulting an injured man and lying about it, the attorney general’s office announced Wednesday.

Former Dewey Beach police Officer Gregory Lynch Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree perjury, a felony, and third-degree assault in the 2019 attack when Lynch was dispatched to help a man with a head injury, Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a news release.

When the injured man sat up on a stretcher and said he didn’t want to be hospitalized, Lynch beat and handcuffed him and pulled him into an ambulance by his neck, according to prosecutors. Other officers told investigators that the punches were so powerful that blood sprayed onto their uniforms, the prosecutors said. The man was later diagnosed with a concussion, a broken nose and other injuries.

Lynch falsely claimed in a sworn affidavit that the man had committed strangulation and offensive touching of a law enforcement officer, telling a fellow officer “that’s what I do when they don’t comply – I make them felons.” Medics and fellow officers came forward to attest to the truth, prosecutors said.

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“Abuse of authority, brutality, and dishonesty are cardinal sins for any law enforcement officer,” Jennings said in a statement. “The defendant’s violent acts harmed his victim and made it harder for his honorable colleagues to do their important work. Today the defendant becomes a felon who will never carry a badge or a gun again. Our thoughts are with his victim, and our thanks are with the EMTs and fellow police who did the right thing by stepping forward to blow the whistle on his actions.”

Lynch will serve one year of intensive supervision probation and he’s permanently banned from serving as a police officer, the attorney general’s office said. The felony conviction means Lynch will also be prohibited from buying or possessing a firearm.