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Fired Pittsburgh Cop Not Guilty; Says He Hurt Woman In Defense
Former Sgt. Eugene Hlavac Testifies At Trial on Simple Assault Charge
Allegheny County, Pa.: PITTSBURGH --A man who lost his job as a Pittsburgh police sergeant after being accused of domestic violence against his child's mother was found not guilty Tuesday after he testified that self-defense was the reason for the woman's injury.
"The one thing I'm not sorry for at all is the defensive action I took," Eugene Hlavac said on the witness stand. "I would have been justified in using more force."
Allegheny County Judge Tom Flaherty acquitted Hlavac of a charge of simple assault after hearing testimony from both sides in a nonjury trial. Now, Hlavac wants his job back.
"I have always been an innocent man," Hlavac told reporters outside the courtroom. "I was found guilty before I was proven innocent, is actually what happened, and I have one focus right now, and that's to get my son back home with me."
Hlavac was fired in January, against the wishes of the Fraternal Order of Police union leaders who wanted to wait until his case went to court. At that time, union president Dan O'Hara warned that "taxpayers will be paying for a rash decision based on women's groups wanting swift justice."
Joanna Doven, a spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, had no comment about Hlavac after Tuesday's verdict.
"My client will be reinstated on the police force, or there will be consequences," said Hlavac's defense attorney, Phillip DiLucente.
Hlavac's ex-girlfriend, Lauren Maughan, said she went to a hospital with a dislocated jaw after an argument broke out when she arrived to pick up their 3-year-old child at Hlavac's Greenfield home in December.
Hlavac's side of the story was that Maughan initiated the violence, not the other way around.
"My defensive action was to block the assault," Hlavac testified. "I fell backwards toward my car. I raised my hand to push away in defensive mode."
"With so much force you dislocated her jaw?" Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Auld asked him.
"I'm not a medical professional," Hlavac responded.
In Maughan's testimony on Monday, she said that Hlavac was irate when she showed up late, slamming the car door as he put their child inside, and she said he hit her with an open hand when she got out of the vehicle.Technorati Tags: Pittsburgh,Hurt,Woman,Defense,SHIT,Video,Girlfriend,Talks,About,Domestic,Trial,SURE,WATCH,news,Former,Eugene,Hlavac,Simple,Assault,Charge,Allegheny,violence,self,injury,action,Judge,testimony,reporters,January,wishes,Fraternal,Order,Police,leaders,president,Hara,decision,justice,Joanna,Doven,spokeswoman,Mayor,Luke,Ravenstahl,verdict,client,consequences,attorney,Phillip,DiLucente,Lauren,Maughan,hospital,argument,Greenfield,December,mode,Assistant,District,Rebecca,Auld,door,vehicle,Injuries