Fla. detective investigated for excessive force

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:45 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:45 a.m.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A police detective is under investigation after being accused of kicking and hitting a suspect during an arrest.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the incident happened in June and 44-year-old Bartholomew Varacchi Jr. was charged in July with simple battery.

Assistant State Attorney Kendall Davidson told the Times they believe Varacchi used force that was "unnecessary to effect the arrest."

The Times reports accused drug dealer Kalonji Lester led police on a chase June 3 before being cornered. According to a police report, two officers had Lester in handcuffs when Varacchi kicked and slapped Lester in the head.

Records show Lester didn't complain about the incident. But the other officers did.

Varacchi is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. He has also applied for pretrial intervention.

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