Former Gwinnett County Police Department officers Michael Bongiovanni (left) and Robert McDonald face criminal charges for punching and kicking a man during a traffic stop. (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fired Gwinnett cops turn themselves in to police 

Two former Gwinnett County police officers charged with punching and kicking a motorist after a traffic stop have turned themselves in to authorities. 

Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni and Master Officer Robert McDonald turned themselves into the Gwinnett County jail Thursday, but have since bonded out of jail. The officers were charged Wednesday with misdemeanor battery and violating their oath of office, a felony which carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Bond was set at $15,000 apiece. 

RELATED: Criminal charges could result in prison time for former Gwinnett officers 

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter hinted that more charges could follow.  

“There’s a lot more going on in Bongiovanni’s case,” Porter said. 

 IN-DEPTH: Firing of Gwinnett cops: Decisive justice or rush to judgment? 

Authorities signed warrants and gave former officers Sgt. Mike Bongiovanni and Robert McDonald until Thursday to turn themselves in.

Bongiovanni’s attorney, Mike Puglise, said his client maintains his innocence and “vigorously stands by his conduct” during the April 12th arrest of 21-year-old Demetrius Hollins. A citizen shot video of Bongiovanni punching Hollins shortly after the 21-year-old emerged from his vehicle with his hands up. He was handcuffed and on the ground when McDonald was captured on another camera phone kicking him in the head.

Gwinnett Police Chief Butch Ayers promptly fired the officers, calling their behavior “unnecessary and excessive.” 

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