Ex-police chief pleads guilty to assaulting father accused of trying to drown baby

Former Greenwood, Mo. Police Chief Greg Hallgrimson (Photo: Greenwood Police Dept.)

A former suburban Kansas City police chief who helped rescue a baby from an icy pond and later assaulted the man accused of trying to kill the infant has pleaded guilty in the case.

Greg Hallgrimson, 51, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday, the Kansas City Star reported. He was indicted in 2019 on a single count of violating the civil rights of Jonathon Zicarelli.

Prosecutors said Hallgrimson threw the handcuffed Zicarelli to the ground, punched him in the face and told him, "You deserve to die," after returning from the rescue mission to the Greenwood, Missouri, police station. Zicarelli had walked into the police station in December 2018 and said he had tried to drown his 6-month-old daughter in a nearby pond, police said.

RELATED: Police save baby left in car at Las Vegas casino in 100-degree heat

Hallgrimson and another officer rushed to the pond and found the unconscious infant floating face up and her lungs filled with water. Hallgrimson and the other officer worked to warm and revive the baby until paramedics arrived and rushed her to a hospital, where she was treated for severe hypothermia.

Hallgrimson was put on administrative leave shortly after being accused of assaulting Zicarelli, which prosecutors say was captured on video. He resigned in May 2019.

Zicarelli remains in Jackson County jail on pending felony charges of domestic assault and child abuse.

RELATED: Florida babysitter charged with murder 37 years after baby shaken