Man on trial for assaulting Newport Police officer

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - A man is on trial this week in Campbell County court, accused of assaulting a Newport Police officer during a fight at Newport on the Levee over the summer.

But the defense attorney claims Newport Police beat the suspect while trying to arrest him.

A jury was seated Tuesday morning in Campbell County Circuit Court. If they find Duane Cranmo guilty of aggravated assault, he could spend up to 20 years in jail.

But defense attorney Jim Kidney argues his client was the victim of Newport Police, who he says hit, kicked, and choked Cranmo.

FOX19 obtained surveillance video from the early morning hours of July 5th, 2011 outside the Funny Bone Comedy Club when police say several fights broke out, and the crowd there began to get disorderly.

The Commonwealth's Prosecutor Denise Trauth said Duane Cranmo yelled profanities at the officers, and ignored repeated orders to leave the area... Then, they say, when officers went to arrest Cranmo for disorderly conduct, he resisted and threw several elbows at Corporal Larry Long.

But Cranmo's defense says Cranmo was indeed following orders to leave, he did not resist arrest, and a "pile" of Newport Police Officers went way beyond what was necessary to take him into custody.

Cranmo was unarmed.  Newport police never drew their guns or billy clubs, but did admit to striking Cranmo with an "open handed strike"...part of their training, they say, when trying to take a resisting person into custody.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning in Judge Julie Reinhardt Ward's courtroom.

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