Man kicked by St. Paul cop pleads guilty in stalking case

  • Updated: May 10, 2013 - 9:54 PM
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A video posted on YouTube.com showed an officer kicking Eric R. Hightower.

The man shown being kicked by St. Paul police in a YouTube video pleaded guilty Friday in the stalking case that led to that on-camera arrest.

Eric R. Hightower became a local figure when cellphone video of his arrest last August was posted on YouTube, showing a cop kicking him in the chest and a few officers apparently slamming him onto the hood of a car. Hightower’s behavior quickly deteriorated once he was released on bail.

Hightower, a North St. Paul resident, was arrested twice for violating a no-contact order with his ex-girlfriend, the subject of the stalking case that led to his arrest. According to the stalking charges, he had threatened to kill the woman and kicked in her window. He failed to show up in court in late April, and had three warrants out for his arrest at one point. Prosecutors were worried that he was tampering with the witness, his ex-girlfriend.

Hightower pleaded guilty Friday in the stalking case and for violating a no-contact order in mid-April, bringing a close to all the active criminal cases against him. He will be sentenced on July 18.

The Olmsted County attorney’s office and Minneapolis city attorney’s office independently found that officers acted within reasonable bounds in last year’s arrest of Hightower.

Chao Xiong

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