BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) - The former Bay City Department of Public Safety director is facing a charge of assault and battery, but his attorney is confident he will be exonerated.
Michael Cecchini eventually retired after video surfaced of him jabbing his flashlight into the abdomen of a Bay City man during a confrontation over noise outside the former chief's apartment.
Cecchini's attorney, Matt Reyes, said the video has been well publicized, but it's not the whole story. He believes his client will be exonerated.
"We expected something in terms of charges. Obviously we are disappointed," Reyes said.
Cecchini came out of his Uptown Bay City apartment complex in September to confront three people who were making noise with Bird Scooters.
Words were exchanged, and Cecchini could be seen jabbing his flashlight at 18-year-old Travis Kram, hitting him in the stomach. Cecchini called his police officers to the scene.
"Disturbing the peace, both of them squealing their wheels at me," Cecchini says on police body camera to one of his officers who responded.
But Kram and his two friends filed a complaint with Bay City, Cecchini was put on administrative leave the next day and he eventually retired in October.
Police body camera video from the night of the incident indicates Cecchini had a feeling the incident could cause trouble.
"I'm uncomfortable and partly I put myself in a bad situation," Cecchini told his officer.
The Bay County Prosecutor's Office sent the Michigan State Police report about the incident to the Michigan Attorney General's Office, which charged Cecchini with one misdemeanor count of assault and battery.
He could face up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 if convicted.
"The whole incident starts long before there is any video being taken," Reyes said.
He believes the general public doesn't know everything that happened before the cameras started rolling.
"I think it will paint a different picture of the chief and shed light on the whole incident," Reyes said. "He (Cecchini) wants all of the information to come out. He wants the public to see the entire picture of what took place and I think once that is done, based on the laws that we have them, and putting everything in perspective, we certainly expect him to be exonerated."
Bay City Manager Dana Muscott said the city will not be making a comment on the charge. The attorney for Travis Kram said a civil lawsuit should be filed soon.