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Former police chief speaks after sentencing for assaulting man who tried to drown baby


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    GREENWOOD, Missouri (KCTV) — A former Greenwood, Missouri police chief is speaking publicly after he was sentenced for beating a man who had tried to drown his infant daughter in a pond in 2018.

On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced Greg Hallgrimson to five years of probation after he pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights.

According to court records, on Dec. 17, 2018, Jonathon Zicarelli walked into the Greenwood Police Headquarters and stated he had just killed his child. He told investigators that he had drowned the infant in a pond off Doc Henry Road because he wanted to “make things easier for his wife and because he was stressed by the holidays and by trying to provide for his family.”

Hallgrimson, who no longer lives in the Kansas City metro, spoke to KCTV5 News in a Zoom interview Wednesday.

“I still have the images of the baby. Those images aren’t going to leave anytime soon,” Hallgrimson said. “I have a wife that helps me get through that and some friends along with family.”

Hallgrimson and a corporal rushed to pull the baby from the icy pond in 2018 to perform CPR. The child survived.

“I think we could all agree someone was watching out for that child today to say the least,” Lt. Aaron Fordham said during a December 2018 interview. “It turned out to be a Christmas miracle.”

In 2019, Hallgrimson was indicted for what happened after the 2018 pond rescue. According to federal court records during the investigation, Hallgrimson threw Zicarelli, who was handcuffed and restrained and sitting in a chair, to the ground and struck him in the face with his fist.

After Greenwood community members learned about an investigation into Hallgrimson, some members of the community made signs of support and displayed them in their yards and near city hall. Other supporters started a petition and Facebook page.

This year Hallgrimson entered a guilty plea and was sentenced.

“I do still believe in the judiciary system. I do believe in it,” Hallgrimson said. “With that belief, I have to accept what I was given and what the suspect was given.”

Hallgrimson says he now hopes to raise awareness for the need for mental health support and counseling for first responders and law enforcement.

“I’m going to miss law enforcement for the rest of my life. I hope I find something that will fill some of that void,” Hallgrimson said. “I’m very pleased with the child having a full recovery and I hope to someday meet her and be able to sit down and talk with her. That would be wonderful.”

Zicarelli was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony child abuse.

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