A former Dewey Beach police officer has been convicted and sentenced to a year of supervised probation for repeatedly punching an injured, unaggressive man laying on a stretcher and then lying about it.
Gregory Lynch, who also lost his police certification and is banned from ever serving as a police officer again, was indicted in August 2019 after he climbed onto a stretcher and repeatedly punched the man, who was not identified in a press release from the Delaware Attorney General’s office.
Other officers present said the punches were powerful enough to spray blood from the victim’s face onto their uniforms, the press release said.
Lynch then handcuffed the victim to the stretcher and pulled him into an ambulance by his head. The victim was later diagnosed with a concussion, a broken nose, multiple hematomas and lacerations to his face.
After the beating, Lynch claimed in a sworn affidavit that the victim had committed strangulation and two counts of offensive touching of a law enforcement officer. He told a fellow officer, “That’s what I do when they don’t comply – I make them felons.”
Days later, EMTs and fellow police came forward with the truth.
Attorney General Kathy Jennings said Lynch pleaded guilty to perjury 2nd degree, which is a felony, and assault 3rd degree, a misdemeanor after being indicted by her Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust.
The plea was support by the victim.
Lynch will also be prohibited from buying or possessing a firearm.
“Abuse of authority, brutality, and dishonesty are cardinal sins for any law enforcement officer,” Jennings said in the press release. “The defendant’s violent acts harmed his victim and made it harder for his honorable colleagues to do their important work. Today the defendant becomes a felon who will never carry a badge or a gun again. Our thoughts are with his victim, and our thanks are with the EMTs and fellow police who did the right thing by stepping forward to blow the whistle on his actions.”
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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