PEVELY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Former Pevely police corporal Ryan Watson pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating the constitutional rights of an arrested suspect.
In Jan. 3, the U.S. Attorney of Eastern Missouri charged Watson, 28, with a misdemeanor count of deprivation of constitutional rights.
Watson was fired from the Pevely Police Department in May after an incident in the booking area of the department on April 23, 2019. The incident was recorded on surveillance video.
In the video, 41-year old Ryan Boussum was sitting on a bench after being arrested on suspicion of violating an order of protection and appeared to say something to Watson. The former corporal can be seen choking Boussum, then putting an arm around his neck and dragging and shoving Boussum into a holding cell.
News 4 reached Boussum by phone and he said, "I think that, you know, what the guy did to me wasn't, wasn't right.”
Boussum was well-known to police and had been arrested numerous times prior to the incident. In 2019, he was charged with burglary, assault, property damage, domestic assault and four counts of violating an order of protection. But on April 23, local and federal prosecutors believe Boussum was the victim of a crime.
"I mean I don't want anybody else having to go through that either, you know," said Boussum.
Sentencing hearing is set for April 10. If Watson’s convicted on the federal charge, he could face up to one year in prison.