Bridgeport police officers Elson Morales and Joe Lawlor plead guilty to role in 2011 recorded beating
BRIDGEPORT - Two Bridgeport police officers pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court for their role in a 2011 beating that was caught on camera.
Officers Elson Morales and Joe Lawlor admitted they violated Orlando Lopez-Soto's civil rights when they attacked him at Beardsley Park. Both officers say Lopez-Soto led them on a high-speed car chase when he got out of his van and fled on foot in the park.
Morales says he Tasered Lopez-Soto, who then fell to the ground. Morales then Tasered Lopez-Soto a second time and Lawlor struck him.
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Both officers believed he had a gun, though the investigation later determined he did not.
Lopez-Soto's attorney Robert Berke says his client is satisfied with the agreement. Both officers face up to a year in prison and would have to hand in their badges if they are sentenced to any probation or supervised release.
Both officers will be sentenced in September.