Judge approves refiled assault-related charges against former police inspector

Joseph Bologna is accused of assaulting a Temple University student during a protest last summer.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas approved assault-related charges refiled against a former Philadelphia police staff inspector accused of assaulting a Temple University student during a protest last summer.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office refiled criminal charges against Joseph Bologna after they were dismissed earlier this year during a preliminary hearing by a lower-court judge.

Bologna was caught on video striking a student in the head with an ASP, a collapsible metal police baton, during a June 2020 protest on the Ben Franklin Parkway. He was later terminated from the department after the incident.

Officers say they were spit on, sprayed with urine and chemicals as well as verbally and physically assaulted during the protests. Bologna's attorneys say his actions were always lawful and justified.

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Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Friday announced he is filing aggravated assault and related charges against Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna.



Municipal Court Judge Henry Lewandowski III ruled in January that video of the incident was not enough to prove the officer committed a crime.

SEE ALSO: Charges refiled against Philly police staff inspector accused of assaulting student at protest

Bologna is again facing charges of simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime.

"The people demand accountability from powerful institutions, and that means the law must apply equally to all. My office seeks every day to hold those who cause harm accountable in a fair and evenhanded way, regardless of the office they hold or the badge they wear," District Attorney Larry Krasner said Tuesday. "We respectfully disagree with the court's decision to dismiss the felony Aggravated Assault charge, given the seriousness of the head injury suffered by the victim, which required multiple stitches and staples."



FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby called the charges "baseless."

"We will vigorously defend Joe Bologna against these baseless charges. This is another attempt by DA Krasner to railroad a highly decorated and well-respected member of the Philadelphia police department. Joe Bologna has served this city with respect and dignity for decades and we will not give up the fight to clear his name," said McNesby in a statement.

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