Former police officer sentenced to prison for baton attack

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

A former police officer from Southeast Missouri was sentenced Tuesday to federal prison for a year and one day for beating a suspect with his baton, U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender said.

George Nettleton, 28, of Hayti, Mo., was convicted by a federal grand jury in August on one civil rights charge. The attack happened Aug. 28, 2001, while Nettleton was an officer in Hayti.

Nettleton and the suspect were involved in a vehicle pursuit on Interstate 55, near Hayti. After the truck was stopped in a collision with Nettleton's patrol cruiser, John Skinner was arrested by another officer.

Gruender said Skinner was not resisting arrest, but Nettleton ran up behind him and struck him at least six times on the arm and back with a collapsible baton.

Skinner was treated for his injuries at Pemiscot Memorial Hospital and released.

Nettleton has since left the department.

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