Judge sentences ex-cop Decker to six months probation

Former Ridley Township police officer Brian Decker stood with his hands clasped behind his back as a judge sentenced him to six months probation and ordered him to undergo anger management classes involving his conviction for assaulting a Wawa employee in December 2009.

“This whole incident could have been avoided by walking away,” said Judge Patricia Jenkins. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and we did have what I noted in the verdict was a scuffle engaged in by mutual consent.”

“This incident involved very poor judgment all the way around,” she said.

Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Wills said the problem at the Wawa that day occurred because Decker, 33, has trouble accepting rules.

“This was a case, generally speaking, where the defendant did not believe rules applied to him — the rules of Wawa with carding and the rules of civility. But we’re here today and we’re asking this court to show the defendant rules do apply to him just as they do to any other defendant,” said the prosecutor.

Decker was convicted by Jenkins, who presided over a nonjury trial in September, of a misdemeanor charge of simple assault. He was acquitted of a charge of terroristic threats.

Decker was fired from his police job in the wake of the assault on Monique Bronson, 43, who at the time was an assistant manager of the Wawa. She testified that Decker was off duty and in street clothes when he tried to purchase chewing tobacco and he became irate and assaulted her when she asked for identification.

Decker, who took the stand in his defense during the trial, denied socking Bronson as she said he did after a disagreement in the Morton Avenue store over her carding him Dec. 15, 2009.

“I protected myself,” Decker testified at that time. “I never punched her on the left side of her face.”

He quoted her at one point while they were in the back of the store as telling him that he’s “a little boy with a badge.” He said when she then came within inches of his face, he put up his hands to push her away.

“She came right back at me. Her hands were up. There was yelling and screaming,” he said, adding that the “F word was flying.” He testified all he did was try to grab her arms to bring her to the ground “to control her.”

Jenkins also ordered Decker to pay court costs and $507 to the Victim’s Compensation Board over the objections of defense attorney John List, for medical treatment that was paid out to Bronson involving injuries she said she suffered in the assault.

The judge said one of the goals of the sentencing is to “make sure Mr. Decker learns how to handle his frustrations in a better way.”

The judge said if Decker completes the anger management class prior to the conclusion of his six-month probationary term, it will end.

Decker stood closed-mouthed, which List said was due to a federal civil suit filed by Bronson.

The attorney said he did not want anything said that could be used later against Decker in that litigation.

List said there were about eight witnesses on hand to testify on Decker’s behalf and that his client wanted to offer comment but because of concerns over the lawsuit, they would remain quiet.

List said his client has not been served papers for the civil suit, but through the Daily Times, it’s been reported that a federal suit has been filed against Decker and the Ridley Township Police Department.

“The same suit that (Bronson) knew nothing about when she testified,” said List.

Wills said Bronson was also in court, but likewise did not wish to make a statement.

“She’s still upset by the whole incident,” Wills said later about Bronson.

Wills did not oppose a probationary term for Decker, but suggested a yearlong duration.

List told the court Decker has had no prior brush with the law and the incident has had terrible consequences for him.

“I respectfully suggest that (Decker) has suffered enough with the humiliation and financial havoc that this situation has caused,” said List.

source: delcotimes.com

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