LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Another Lake Charles Police Officer has pleaded guilty to using excessive force in a May 2017 police chase on I-10.
Former LCPD officer Jared Hebert entered his guilty plea in federal court Tuesday morning to one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law. Former Police Chief Don Dixon and several other LCPD officers were in attendance.
This is the second Lake Charles Police officer who has been charged and pleaded guilty in the 2017 police chase incident. Former officer Robert Hammac pleaded guilty August 15.
According to plea document, Hebert joined the police pursuit on I-10. Once the pursuit stopped, Hebert, along with several other officers, left their police units and headed towards the driver’s car. Hebert ‘pulled out his baton, and ran to the front passenger door’ of the vehicle.
It was at that point, the document states, that ‘Hebert observed Officer Robert Hammac in the front passenger seat, repeatedly punching the driver’s head with a closed fist. The driver was not resisting in any way, or posing a threat to himself or any officer, when Officer Robert Hammac punched him in the head'.
The document continues, 'Hebert could not reach the driver through the passenger door because Officer Robert Hammac and another LCPD officer were in his way. Hebert then slid over the hood of the car and jumped over the front driver's side door'.
The document goes on to state that ‘Hebert and other officers pulled the driver from the car and the driver fell to the ground with his left arm trapped beneath him. Several officers surrounded the driver, placing their knees and hands on the driver so that the driver could not move. Hebert kneeled next to the driver and immediately began to strike the driver’s abdomen area with the butt end of his baton’ striking him ‘approximately twenty to thirty times’.
The document continues, ‘since the incident, Hebert has watched several videos showing the arrest’ and ‘acknowledges and agrees’ that once the car stopped, the driver didn’t pose a ‘threat to himself or anyone else for the entire incident’ and that Hebert ‘knew that his use of the baton to strike the driver amounted to an unreasonable use of force’.
Hebert’s sentencing is set for December 3, 2019.
Another former Lake Charles Police Officer, Collin Kleckley, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday morning on the same charge, one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law, for an unrelated incident in 2017. 7 News reached out to officials for information on that incident and will provide updates as they become available.
According to the Lake Charles Police Department both Hebert and Kleckley resigned last Thursday ‘citing personal reasons’. They say they have deemed both ineligible for rehire at LCPD.