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Phila. police detective to be tried on charge of assaulting civilian

A Philadelphia police detective charged with kicking a man and breaking his right leg will stand trial on aggravated assault and other charges, a municipal judge ordered Friday.

Adam O’Donnell, 43, a nine-year member of the force, sat silently during a preliminary hearing as Judge Teresa Carr Deni ruled. Several fellow detectives were in the courtroom in apparent support of O’Donnell.

Theodore Life III, 45, testified during the hearing that O’Donnell kicked him in the right knee, fracturing his femur, on Feb. 3, 2015, outside the Special Victims Unit at 300 E. Hunting Park Ave.

In addition to aggravated assault, O’Donnell was charged with kidnapping, unlawful restraint, and official oppression. Deni threw out the kidnapping charge and left the others intact for a formal arraignment May 13 in Common Pleas Court.

At Friday’s hearing, Life testified that O’Donnell kicked him for no apparent reason as Life was leaving the police building.

Incapacitated and in pain, he said, he was crawling away near the police parking lot when O’Donnell ordered him into an unmarked police car. Life said O’Donnell then drove him to a grassy area of Hunting Park, where he ordered him to get out. Life said he then sought medical attention.

At Friday’s hearing, O’Donnell’s lawyer, Gregory Pagano, tried to establish through questioning that Life had been at the SVU building because he had been arrested after an altercation in a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts store.

Asked why Life had been in the building, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office said only that he had been questioned as part of an investigation.

As Life walked out of the building, Pagano suggested through his questioning, he was “hostile” to a detective, and O’Donnell went to her aid. Life denied that version of events, without elaborating.

After the hearing, Pagano said O’Donnell denies kicking Life.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross has suspended O’Donnell with the intent to dismiss.

Original article at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20160423_Phila__police_detective_to_be_tried_on_charges_of_assaulting_a_civilian.html

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