Ex-police chief who rescued baby pleads guilty to assault

Posted at 11:23 AM, July 29, 2021 and last updated 8:43 PM, July 19, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former suburban Kansas City police chief who helped rescue a baby from an icy pond and later assaulted the man accused of trying to kill the infant has pleaded guilty in the case.

Former Kansas City Police chief Greg Hallgrimson (left) plead guilty Wednesday to a civil rights violation for attacking Jonathon Zicarelli (right) while he was handcuffed in police custody. (Greenwood Police Department/ Jackson County Detention Center)

Greg Hallgrimson, 51, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday, the Kansas City Star reported. He was indicted in 2019 on a single count of violating the civil rights of Jonathon Zicarelli.

Prosecutors have said Hallgrimson threw a handcuffed Zicarelli to the ground, punched him in the face and told Zicarelli, “You deserve to die,” after returning from the rescue mission to the Greenwood, Missouri, police station. Zicarelli had walked into the police station in December 2018 and said he had tried to drown his 6-month-old daughter in a nearby pond, police said.

Hallgrimson and another officer rushed to the pond and found the unconscious infant floating face up and her lungs filled with water. Hallgrimson and the other officer worked to warm and revive the baby until paramedics arrived and rushed her to a hospital, where she was treated for severe hypothermia.

Hallgrimson was put on administrative leave shortly after being accused of assaulting Zicarelli, which prosecutors say was captured on video. He resigned in May 2019.

Zicarelli remains in Jackson County jail on pending felony charges of domestic assault and child abuse.

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