- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A judge has ordered the case against an East Helena police officer charged with punching a 70-year-old man after a vehicle collision to proceed to trial.

The Independent Record reports (https://bit.ly/2fWqpzm ) that Robert John Gutowski was expected to plead guilty to an assault charge at a change of plea hearing Monday. But the 27-year-old maintained his innocence.

Gutowski had been involved a four-vehicle crash while he was off-duty in September.

Gutowski admitted shoving the victim “a few times.” He says he had been concerned about his mother at the time, who was a passenger in his vehicle and had been recovering from brain surgery.

East Helena Police Chief Dale Aschim says he wants Gutowski fired, but Mayor James Schell reinstated the officer after a week of unpaid leave.


Information from: Independent Record, https://www.helenair.com

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