PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A Phoenix police officer has been placed on leave and is under investigation for possible criminal misconduct after he was seen on video punching and slapping a shoplifting suspect at a Walmart store.

[WATCH: Phoenix police officer could face charges for slapping handcuffed shoplifting suspect]

The incident happened on Dec. 8, 2018, at the store near 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. Officer Timothy Baiardi was working off-duty security at the store.

Police say that on that day, security cameras zoomed in on 22-year-old Roger Moran as he allegedly tried to steal some pants. Police say Moran was seen taking tags off of new pants, taking off his personal pants, then putting on the new pants.

[VIDEO #1: Confrontation between officer and shoplifting suspect]

[VIDEO #2: Security video appears to show officer slapping suspect]

Officer Baiardi approached Moran, telling him that he had been seen allegedly trying to shoplift, according to the police report. The officer then tried to take Moran into custody.

According to the police report, "the officer grabbed both arms" of Moran, but that Moran "escaped while the officer was grabbing his handcuffs.

Officer Baiardi was able to gain control of Moran by pressing his face against his chest using both of his forearms, the police report said.

The report goes on to say that Moran then "reached out and grabbed the officer's testicles."

Officer Baiardi backed away from Moran, and then reportedly delivered two to three knee strikes to Moran's face. according to the police report.

The report continues on to say that Moran then "attempted to escape again."

That's when Officer Baiardi delivered four to five fist strikes to Moran, according to the police report.

A witness helped take Moran to the ground, but police say he "continued to resist arrest" and "reached for the officer's testicles again."

Officer Baiardi then struck Moran about two to three more times with a closed fist, according to the police report.

Finally, Moran was taken into custody. But police say he "continued to try to escape while handcuffed."

Police were able to get Moran into the loss prevention office at the store.

Surveillance video released shows what appears to be the officer slapping Moran in the face. According to the police report, Moran "was seated on a bench in the loss prevention office... and was struck on the left side of his face and the officer told him 'never do that again.'"

Officer Baiardi is 44 years old, and has been with the Phoenix Police Department for 17 years. He has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

Moran's mug shot shows him with several cuts and scrapes to the face.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Tuesday that they are "reviewing the case for a charging decision." The recommended charge is aggravated assault.

The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association released the following statement about the incident:

"PLEA is aware of the allegations against Officer Tim Baiardi and, pending the outcome of the investigation, his duties as a member of PLEA’s Board of Trustees have been suspended. As is our practice, we will not comment on the specifics of the investigation. Throughout this process, PLEA will remain committed to its mission of promoting the positive role of the police profession and protecting the rights of its members. We would like to remind the public that police officers are entitled to due process and that they are entitled to the same presumption of innocence afforded to every citizen."

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(11) comments

jaginphx

I could care less about the shop lifter getting smacked around but.... as soon as I read the headline I painted a mental picture of the cop and yup I was right!

it's always the shaved head white cops who do this kind of stuff. I bet had his sunglasses wrapped around his fat head too

Mactact

Hopefully the officer get a promotion for only slapping this ball grabber.

JPC

Officers with PTSD is a shame. He should followed procedure then He would not of lost his job. Does he have PTSD? Who knows....

Shanghaimagic

The idiots on here saying the officer lost his cool are just about as clueless as the "suspect". I watched the video and the "boy" was trying to get away from the officer all the while grabbing onto whatever he could including the officer's balls. The officer had a right to defend himself while trying to get this stupid kid under control and for anyone to say otherwise is tantamount to being culpable his crime as well. Shoplift, resist assist etc. and you just might get knocked up a bit, its as simple as that, period.

whocares

Hey Einstein (shanghaimagic).....when you hit somebody who is handcuffed, sitting on a bench that you have already arrested, it's no longer self-defense You're the idiot here.

PaloVerde

Looks like another democrat dreamer got caught stealing. He deserved a lot more than just a slap. Build the wall and deport this trash.

MyOwnMind

Should have slapped him all the back to Mexico then chop his legs off so he can't come back.

Scrubs6512

Noticeably absent from this article is the mention of potential sexual assault charges against the shoplifter. I am pretty sure you are never allowed to grab a man's testicles (((without permission))); attenpting to avoid arrest does not give you a free grab pass.

cactus

Yes, unfortunately the officer lost his cool and most anyone would have, after this clown (shoplifter) attacked his privates. But for the Phx PD to recommend aggravted assault charge against the officer is way overkill. He slapped the guy, yes while he was handcuffed. Fact is, the guy deserved it. Yeah, I know, the officer violated the regulations and should receive discipline, but agg. assault charge is uncalled for. But in today's PC world, his job is likely on the line. And at 17 years, probably his pension? I would like to think what is right will prevail here....he should get fair discipline/counseled and go back to work. But in today's upside down world, who knows. I imagine the same poor leadership at Phx PD who want him sharged with agg. assault for a slap, will want to "make an example" of him. Good luck, officer, I am pulling for you.

ObeyLaws

Truly unfortunate that the officer lost his cool and will now likely lose his livelihood because he let some shIthead get to him.

JustinP

Agreed. Let's remember the privates is an area no one wants touched and the guy probably deserved what he got but that should have been after he was convicted of assaulting the officer. This is where Singapore's caning offense makes sense for implementation in the US

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