A sergeant with the Sunrise, Florida police department was charged with assault for an incident last November where he put his hands around the neck of a female officer who was trying to stop the sergeant from verbally abusing a handcuffed suspect, WPLG ABC 10 in Miami reports.
Christopher Pullease was caught on bodycam footage lunging at an unnamed female officer, putting his hands around her neck, after she pulled Pullease away from a police car where a suspect who had harassed customers at a convenience store and then resisted arrest was confined.
Pullease reportedly was holding a can of mace and berating the suspect when the female officer attempted unsuccessfully to de-escalate the situation. With Pullease getting more aggressive, the officer grabbed him by the back of his belt and pulled him away, which angered Pullease and he attacked her.
The 47-year-old Pullease was charged with battery on a police officer, assault on an officer, assault and tampering with evidence. He was immediately relieved of duty after the incident, which happened last November, but the prosecutor only charged him this week.
“The sergeant is accused of intentionally touching or striking the female police officer against her will, assaulting her by holding pepper spray up to her face, and assaulting the civilian male by holding pepper spray to his face,” the state’s attorneys office said in a statement. “If convicted, the maximum possible penalties are five years in state prison for felony battery on a law enforcement officer, one year for assaulting a law enforcement officer, and 60 days for assault on a civilian.”