A retired St. Paul police officer working as a counselor in a group home punched a juvenile “too many times to count,” according to charges filed Friday.

Clemmie H. Tucker Sr., 64, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of malicious punishment of a child for the Jan. 30 incident that left the 14-year-old boy’s face bruised and swollen.

Tucker, who retired from the department as a sergeant in the 1990s after 23 years, has a troubled past. In 2006, he pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing about 22 pounds of cocaine and 8 pounds of methamphetamine estimated to be worth $4 million.

“People who know me best know I am not a criminal,” Tucker told the judge when he was sentenced to five years in prison. “I made a mistake.”

In his most recent run-in with the law, he allegedly assaulted a teenager, talked over the boy while police were questioning the boy and then left the scene despite orders from police to stay put.

According to the complaint: Police responded to a group home about 7:40 p.m. for an assault. Tucker told police the boy assaulted another juvenile.

The boy, who was in tears, told police that Tucker assaulted him “for no reason.” The boy said that he had argued with another teenager over video games and that he had punched the other teenager. Tucker called police and confronted the boy.

The boy said he stood up in front of Tucker because the other kids picked on him and he didn’t want to look weak.

Tucker pushed the boy to the ground.

“[The boy] said he tried to get up and Tucker punched him in the face and head, ‘too many times to count,’ ” the complaint said.

The account was corroborated by a witness and surveillance video, which showed the boy did not swing at Tucker.

Another juvenile in the home told police that he witnessed the first altercation between the two boys, and then Tucker’s reaction. He told police that Tucker told the boy, “ ‘I wish you would hit me like that, I’d [expletive] you up.’ ”

The juvenile said that was when the boy stood up in front of Tucker and was assaulted.

“The juvenile male stated that once [the boy] was on the ground, Tucker continued to punch him multiple times,” the complaint said. “Tucker was hitting [the boy] with both hands and [the boy] was trying to hide under the table.”

Tucker was breathless after the assault, the witness said.

Tucker drove away from the scene and was later fired from the group home. He was a Golden Gloves boxing champion in his teens, according to the complaint.

 

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