Though the widely publicized incident took place before Christmas last year, the Phoenix police officer hung on to his job. That fight is over, however, as Timothy Baiardi was fired from his job with the city’s law enforcement agency after he was seen on surveillance video punching and slapping a man suspected of shoplifting at a Walmart.
The now ex-officer was charged with aggravated assault earlier this year.
The 17-year veteran cop had been working security at the Walmart at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road while off-duty. He confronted the 22-year-old shoplifting suspect on Dec. 8, 2018. Baiardi reported that he saw the suspect take tags off of a pair of pants and then put the pants on.
According to court documents, the suspect resisted arrest, attempted escape and grabbed the officer’s testicles.
Baiardi then struck the man three times in the face with his knee, a police report stated, before taking the man into custody and putting him in the loss prevention office in the store. It’s there where a surveillance camera caught the officer slapping the suspect hard enough to knock him off of a bench.
While on administrative leave, Baiardi was charged with aggravated assault in May.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said she was “shocked and appalled” by the incident and that “this type of activity will not be tolerated.”
Those who face similar charges should decline to speak to investigators or prosecutors until they have discussed their legal options with a Mesa criminal defense attorney devoted to protecting rights, careers and freedom.