HILLSBORO, Ore. --
A Hillsboro police officer has been found not guilty of assault in connection with a drunken driving stop he made last year.
The assault and harassment charges against Officer Robert Ward were brought after he threw two beer cans during the stop. One can hit a passenger from the car, and the other struck a sheriff’s sergeant on the hand.
Ward has been suspended for almost a year since the April incident.
He had been acting as an interpreter during the stop of two Spanish-speaking men. Officers testified that both men were drunk but denied it.
Retired Judge Michael McElligott concluded that Ward "tossed" the cans out of the car and did not throw them at the passenger or the sergeant.
The judge called Ward’s actions "really bad police work, but no crime."
A conviction on the charges of assault and harassment could have cost Ward his job. His lawyer says Ward is seeking his full pay while on leave for the past year.
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