Southgate Cop Reinstated After Beating Woman
Mayor Defends Police Officer
POSTED: 8:14 p.m. EST January 7, 2005
UPDATED: 9:31 p.m. EST January 7, 2005
Story by Click On Detroit
-- A Southgate police officer will return to work on Monday after serving only three months of a one-year suspension for beating a 24-year-old woman, Local 4 reported.
Officer Brian Klonowski, 32, was placed on probation and suspended from the force for one year after he pleaded no contest to an assault charge in October.
The city's mayor, Dennis David, reinstated Klonowski without restrictions on Friday.
Southgate Police Chief Larry Hall was furious with David's decision, the station reported.
"This is not some love tap. This is not some shoving match. This is a martial artist, black belt, who just beat the hell out of a girl," Hall said.
The assault occurred at a birthday party at a bar last April. The victim, Gina Falconer, who was tending bar that night, said Klonowski attacked her after she refused his advances toward her.
"He yanked me out of my chair by my shirt, threw me on the ground, sat on me and started punching me, not once, not twice, three times in the eye," Falconer said. "It took four people to get him off me."
Falconer said a local journalist informed her Friday of Klonowski's reinstatement.
"He's going to be a cop? They're going to give him a gun? He's got a mental problem," Falconer said.
David told Local 4 that people should have some sympathy for the police officer.
"No one has taken his side at all on this issue aside from myself and I'd just like to see someone put themselves in his shoes for once while they're addressing this issue," David said.
David admitted that he and Klonowski once served together on the Southgate police force and that Klonowski is a friend and political supporter, the station reported. But the mayor said his decision was not based on politics.
"His side of the story is that she swung a beer bottle at him and he responded," David said. "I think he'll come back a better man for it. He beat this girl up. He's sorry that he did it."
Klonowski is scheduled to return to work as a police officer Monday afternoon.
Anyone who gets into an off duty bar brawl, regardless of occupation, should be fired.
He needs an "accidental" injury to, say, his kneecaps, that will prevent him from returning to duty for a few weeks.
Follow by another "accident" to both arms.