LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Los Angeles Police Department officer was convicted Friday of pistol-whipping a man with his gun two years ago outside an El Segundo bar while off-duty.
Joseph William Rooney, 34, was convicted of two felony assault counts, but was acquitted of charges involving two other men during the confrontation.READ MORE: LA City Council To Vote Tuesday On Ghost Gun Ban
The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated about 3 1/2 hours before finding Rooney guilty in the May 22, 2016, confrontation in the 100 block of Main Street, along with allegations that he had personally used a handgun.
The downtown Los Angeles panel acquitted him of two counts of assault with a firearm involving the two other men.
Rooney — who testified in his own defense — described the confrontation as a “minor fight” in which he had his phone in his hand. He denied striking the victim with a gun or even having a gun with him.
He told jurors he “couldn’t believe what they were trying to allege what I did” when he was called in for questioning by El Segundo police about what he described as “honestly a 30-second dust-up.”READ MORE: LA Special Counselor To Plead Guilty To $2.2M LADWP Kickback Scheme, Bribing LADWP Officials
Rooney told jurors he has been on administrative leave from the LAPD for nearly two years.
The prosecutor told jurors that there was “overwhelming evidence” that the off-duty officer pointed a gun at the man and then pistol-whipped him in the face. The other two men also alleged that Rooney had pointed a gun at them.
Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy allowed Rooney to remain free on $200,000 bond while awaiting sentencing June 7.
It was not immediately clear what kind of sentence Rooney could face.MORE NEWS: Undisclosed Forensic Evidence Found In Search For Heidi Planck
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