Off-Duty LAPD Officer Accused of Pistol-Whipping a Man Outside an El Segundo Restaurant Is Charged With Assaulting 3

A Los Angeles Police Department officer was charged with assaulting three men after he allegedly pistol-whipped a man and then pointed his gun at two other men outside an El Segundo restaurant while he was off-duty, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Joseph William Rooney, 33, has been charged with four counts of assault with a firearm and was arraigned Tuesday. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 27 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Prosecutors said the assaults happened on┬áMay 22, 2016, when a group of three men left a bar in the 100 block of El Segundo’s Main Street and walked to a nearby restaurant.

The men were standing outside the eatery when Rooney walked up to them, prosecutors said. Off-duty at the time, Rooney pulled a handgun on the men and pistol-whipped one of them after first pointing the gun at him, prosecutors said.

Then, he pointed the gun at the other two men, prosecutors said.

The following day, one of the victims reported the crime to local police and the DA’s office later filed charges after a “lengthy investigation,” according to a news release from the El Segundo Police Department.

Authorities have not yet released further information about the incident, such as how the altercation started.

Prosecutors have called for Rooney’s bail to be set at $250,000.