Just two months after a judge convicted former Streamwood, Illinois police officer James Mandarino of aggravated battery and official misconduct, he was sentenced to probation for brutally beating an unarmed motorist.
Mandarino had followed, 28-year-old Ronald Bell's vehicle for about 30 seconds early on March 28th. Bell's tires were squealing, and as he pulled into the driveway of his Streamwood home, Mandarino emerged from his squad car with his weapon drawn. (Scroll down for video)
Footage from Mandarino's squad car camera shows him using a Taser on the car's passenger, Nolan Stalbaum, then hitting Bell on the head, back and arms with a baton repeatedly.
Mandarino testified that he feared for his life when he pulled over the SUV carrying Bell and his passenger, but the video evidence against him was overwhelming.
“If a picture speaks a thousand words, this video speaks a million,” Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta said in March after deciding that Mandarino was guilty of the felony charges. He called the baton “a deadly weapon,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Though the state wanted Mandarino to serve three years in prison, Judge Fecarotta sentenced him Tuesday to 30 months probation plus 150 hours community service.
“Sending the defendant to the penitentiary in my opinion would be more about revenge and less about justice,’’ Fecorotta said, according to the Sun-Times. He added that in his 16 years as a police officer, Mandarino had a clean record before the beating.
Mandarino had asked the judge for probation before his sentencing, and apologized to the men involved.
"I regret that night ever occurred and I regret any pain and suffering to the other families and to Mr. Bell and Mr. Stalbaum," he said.WATCH the attack here.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.