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Cop who hit woman during parade is acquitted of assault

PHILADELPHIA -- The former Philadelphia police veteran caught on video hitting a woman has been found not guilty of simple assault.

A bench trial was held for Jonathan Josey Tuesday morning. The not-guilty verdict was handed down by the judge who claimed the video "didn't tell the whole story."

Back in October, cell phone video was released showing the former lieutenant hitting a woman at the Festival de la Americas following the Philadelphia Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sept. 30. The video received more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.


Photos: Officer accused of striking woman

The incident happened near Fifth and Lehigh Streets in North Philadelphia, after the parade on the Parkway. Parade organizers say they had nothing to do with the North Philadelphia event.

Officials say Aida Guzman of Chester was spraying silly string at officers involved in a traffic stop when she was hit by Josey. Her face was bleeding as officers took her away. Guzman was cited for disorderly conduct but the charge was subsequently dropped.

She doesn't speak much English, but told NBC10 "I feel angry, very angry. I go to someplace, got a good time and look this happen, for no reason." Mayor Michael Nutter apologized to Guzman for the incident days later.

Josey was a decorated supervisor with the Highway Patrol -- a 19-year veteran of the force. He was suspended and then fired after the video surfaced.

Officer Josey's history

The Fraternal Order of Police told NBC10 they would defend Josey "to the end." Union president John McNesby cautioned people not to judge the incident by a small clip of video. On Oct. 28, the FOP held a five-hour, $30 per person, fundraiser for the lieutenant.

Josey made headlines before. He was exonerated in the shooting death of a Philadelphia man shortly after the man robbed a convenience store in Lower Merion in March 2010. In July 2010, Josey was stabbed in the back while trying to break up a fight outside a West Philadelphia bar.

He also was one of the Daily News' Sexy Singles in 2006.