Charlottesville Police Officer Cleared

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

March 21, 2006

A Charlottesville officer is breathing a sigh of relief tonight after a judge dismissed the Assault and Battery charges against him.

A man arrested for drunk driving accused an officer of pushing him against a wall. The judge today said there was no evidence to prove the man was assaulted.

An Albemarle county judge heard how Hunter Tyree was loud and disorderly that day in August 2005 when he appeared in front of the magistrate on DUI charges. Tyree admitted to drinking and taking Prozac that day. The judge then heard how Officer Cliff Goodwin grabbed the suspect to escort him out.

There was conflicting testimony as to whether the suspect was then pushed or if he fell, but the judge ruled it was reasonable force.

“Police officers often times are authorized by the law and justified in using reasonable force in situations to overcome resistance,” said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

Officer Goodwin will soon be reinstated. As for the alleged victim, he was previously found not guilty of drunk driving. The outcome of this trial doesn't prevent him from filing a civil suit, but no word yet if he will.

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