Assault charges against Philly cops tossed - Philadelphia news

November 21, 2008 6:50:45 AM PST
A judge has dismissed charges against two former Philadelphia police officers accused of assaulting a graffiti artist.

Former officers Sheldon Fitzgerald and Howard Hill III were charged with beating 36-year-old David Vernitsky whom they spotted spraying graffiti on a wall in the city's Feltonville section on Aug. 26, 2007.

Authorities say the officers broke Vermitsky's jaw and threw him head first into the back of a patrol car.

The five-year veteran officers were charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy, tampering with public records, and related offenses. They were fired by police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

Municipal Court Senior Judge Francis Cosgrove dismissed the charges at a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Their lawyers say the two men intend to get their jobs back.

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