Former Rockledge officer who shot teen accepts plea deal, downgraded charges
Nick Galluzzi must surrender credentials, faces year of probation
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A former Rockledge police officer who shot a teenager while taking him into custody has accepted a plea deal that includes downgrading his charges from attempted manslaughter to culpable negligence with injury.
As part of the agreement, Nick Galluzzi, 45, will be forced to surrender law enforcement credentials and faces a year of probation. If he was still charged with attempted manslaughter he could have been sentenced to five years in prison, if convicted.
The former corporal is accused of firing a single shot at Alex Houston on Dec. 1, 2016. The 17-year department veteran resigned three weeks later.
In March 2017, Galluzzi was charged with attempted manslaughter.
Houston, who was 17 years old the night he was wounded, said in an interview with News 6 in November that he's still hurting physically and psychologically a year after being shot in the shoulder.
"Just because you're an officer, doesn't mean you're above the law," Houston said outside court Tuesday. "Just because you have that badge, doesn't make you more different than me."
Alex Houston who was shot when he was 17 during burglary response by fmr Rockledge cop reacts to new plea agreement. Nick Galluzzi agrees to plea guilty to charge of culpable negligence with injury, a misdemeanor. He was previously charged with attempted manslaugther @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/qYPrjbX97B— James Sparvero (@JamesSparvero) May 8, 2018
The plea deal means that Galluzzi will not be able to become a law enforcement officer again in Florida.
Houston's lawyer called the plea deal, "disgusting."
"To get away with that with nothing but probation and a light tap on the wrist, not even an adjudication on his record, I find disgusting but sadly, I find it predictable," attorney Solomon Radner said.
The Seminole-Brevard State Attorney's Office released a statement after the agreement was reached Tuesday, which said that Houston and his family were consulted and approved the deal before it was offered to Galluzi.
“Police officers have the authority to use force when attempting to make an arrest," State Attorney Phil Archer said. "They also have a duty and responsibility to apply that force appropriately, even in stressful and demanding circumstances.”
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