Carl Counti, a 15-year veteran of the Kansas City Police Department, will do jail time for punching a restrained carjacking suspect in the head multiple times during an arrest on October 5.
Counti, 39, will serve 30 days of shock time in jail after pleading guilty to third-degree assault. He was sentenced to one year in prison, but that sentence has been suspended if Counti can serve two years of probation without incident.
KCPD supervisors suspended Counti when they reviewed video taken from multiple patrol vehicles showing Counti using excessive force, repeatedly punching car-robbery suspect Alfredo Ponce after he had been handcuffed.
Ponce was stopped at 24th Street and Cypress Avenue when police spotted him in a car that had been reported stolen in an armed carjacking just moments before. Ponce walked away from police officers who then tried to take Ponce in custody. Ponce resisted arrest, chipping one of Counti's teeth when he elbowed the officer in the face.
Officers struggled to get Ponce under control; a malfunctioning Taser didn't help matters. Other officers at the scene saw Counti punch Ponce in the face about 10 times after Ponce was restrained. Ponce declined medical treatment when an ambulance arrived at the scene.
The KCPD referred the case to Jackson County prosecutors, who brought assault charges against the officer who has since tendered his resignation.
"What he did was wrong," says KCPD Chief Darryl Forte. "He took responsibility for that."