On March 3, Detroit Police Officer Johnny Ray Bridges was arrested after he allegedly beat a woman and detained her against her will. Bridges, 47, is now charged with domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, reckless discharge of a firearm, and preventing a crime report according to a news article at Mlive.com.
According to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Bridges and the woman were drinking alcohol when an argument ensued; the officer was off duty at the time. Bridges allegedly kicked and punched the victim in various areas of her face and body, and fired a handgun into the air. The woman, who was Bridges’ girlfriend, jumped out of a window at the Detroit home where she and Bridges were, running to a nearby restaurant to phone police while wearing only a t-shirt. An employee at the restaurant dialed 911 and gave the 31-year-old woman clothing to put on.
Bridges has been an officer with the Detroit Police Department for nearly 25 years. Although he turned himself in, his job is likely in jeopardy as the department has a zero tolerance policy for crime. Bridges was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim. A preliminary examination hearing has been scheduled for March 13.
In the state of Michigan, domestic violence and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm are extremely serious charges. Criminal penalties for assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder include fines of up to $5,000 along with a maximum of 10 years in prison for those convicted. Domestic violence is divided into two categories, domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault. Depending on which offense an individual is accused of, he or she may face fines of between $500 and $1,000, along with jail time of between 93 days and one year for a first conviction.
The criminal penalties set forth by law are not the only consequences of a conviction. As indicated above, a conviction could destroy both an individual’s career and reputation, leaving the defendant with a criminal record which will create issues for the rest of his or her life.