California officer pleads no contest to beating woman with baseball bat while off duty
A 54-year-old police officer in Walnut Creek, California pled no contest to assault and vandalism charges on Monday for attacking a woman with a baseball bat, KTVU-TV reported.
Thompson was accused of donning a ski mask and beating the woman last month after believing her to be responsible for vandalizing his father’s vacant home in Richmond. Prosecutors said that in reality, the woman was in the area near the residence because her car had run out of gas.
The woman ran and hid in some nearby bushes after being attacked. When Richmond police arrived, witnesses pointed them to Thompson, who was still at the scene and sitting in his personal vehicle with the mask off.
The Contra Costa Times reported that Thompson identified himself as a fellow officer when the woman stepped out of the bushes and identified him.
Investigators also noticed the mask inside Thompson’s car, and a subsequent search revealed the bat, as well as zip ties and two guns. He was arrested that night and placed on paid administrative leave. The woman is expected to recover from “non-life threatening” injuries she suffered in the attack.
Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10. Prosecutor Barry Grove told the Times his office would recommend he be sentenced to one year in Contra Costa County Jail.
“To his credit, he admitted guilt early,” Grove was quoted as saying. “Hopefully, he can get on with the rest of his life.”
Authorities in Walnut Creek told KTVU that Thompson, a 30-year veteran of the department, was allowed to retire before his conviction, though they have not said if he will be allowed to retain his pension and retirement benefits.
Watch KTVU’s report, as aired on Monday, below.