Closing Arguments Given in RI Police Assault Trial

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island prosecutor says a Providence police detective caught on tape striking a handcuffed suspect beat the man with his flashlight out of anger, while an attorney for the officer says his client used only the force he deemed necessary.

Attorneys delivered closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Robert DeCarlo, who is charged with assaulting Luis Mendonca. The 22-year-old fled police custody and led them on a nighttime foot chase until he was detained shortly before the incident.

Prosecutor Kelly Ann McElroy told jurors the 46-year-old detective attacked Mendonca deliberately, knocking him unconscious with a flashlight blow to the head.

Michael Colucci, an attorney for DeCarlo, countered that his client used approved police techniques to subdue a suspect resisting arrest.

The incident was recorded by a surveillance camera.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)