SEATTLE – A former Tukwila and Snoqualmie police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to attacking a handcuffed and restrained man at a Seattle hospital, according to U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes.
Nicholas Hogan pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one count of violating the rights of a detained man. He faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine when he’s sentenced on Jan. 27, 2017.
He was indicted on a felony charge in May, but he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. The felony civil rights violation carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
Under his plea agreement, Hogan will be prohibited from working as a police officer or security guard, or any position that requires carrying a firearm, for 15 years. It also requires Hogan to pay restitution to the man. The amount will be decided at the sentencing hearing.
Hogan betrayed the trust placed in officers to use appropriate force, Hayes said.
“Hogan pepper-sprayed a person that was already detained in handcuffs and restraints – and said he did so simply because the man ‘got mouthy,'” Hayes said. “Law enforcement officers are given broad powers to protect and serve the public – as most honorably do. When these powers are misused, those responsible will be held to account.”
Wayne Fricke, Hogan’s lawyer, said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment until after the sentencing.
Hogan responded to the report of a fight in Tukwila in 2011. He took the suspect into custody on a misdemeanor warrant, but because of his injuries, Hogan took him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Hogan admitted that he physically removed the man from his patrol car and struck him in the head with his knee. When Hogan brought the man into the emergency room, he repeatedly shoved him until he fell and then “dropped on top of him restraining him with a knee in his back,” Hayes said.
The man was placed on a gurney with his arms and legs strapped down. Staff moved the man to a treatment area behind a curtain, and while Hogan was alone with the man, he sprayed him with pepper spray.
Hospital security were called and an employee asked Hogan what happened and he responded that the suspect “got mouthy,” according to the plea agreement.
“In the plea agreement Hogan admits he knew that the spray was not necessary or reasonable under the circumstances,” Hayes said.
The Tukwila Police Department fired Hogan in 2013 after the city settled two lawsuits accusing him of excessive force – neither of which was the case in which Hogan has been indicted.
Snoqualmie then hired in Hogan and suspended him for 20 days early this year for having an affair with another officer’s wife, authorities said. Messages left for Snoqualmie Police Chief Jim Schaffer seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Snoqualmie Mayor Matthew Larson said he fired Hogan in August after the affair and the federal charge compromised his ability to do his job.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.