BRPD officer pleads not guilty to felony charges, victim speaks out
BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge police officer pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges in court, Wednesday.
Lt. Charles Eddleman is accused of grabbing a man from behind, and slamming his head into the concrete floor until the victim passed out, according to the probable cause document.
Today, the victim spoke out for the first time since the attack. Eloy Anzaldua claims it was unprovoked, and said he is lucky to be alive.
"It's overwhelming to think that a police officer would do what he did," Anzaldua said. "It's just unbelievable."
Anzaldua says he is still suffering from the residual effects of the attack. He couldn't open his eye for weeks, and had lacerations on his face. He claims the attack left him stuttering when he speaks.
"Still passing out episodes, and my walking is definitely getting better," Anzaldua explained.
His recovery is darkened by hospital bills. He doesn't have medical insurance, and his stay at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center was expensive. He showed News 2 bills for $11,000 and $15,000. He says he shouldn't be responsible for paying them, and wants Eddleman to pay the debt because he claims the attack was unprovoked. Anzaldua also wants to see the Baton Rouge Police Department take action against him.
"I believe he should be fired for doing something like that. It's incredible. It's not right," Anzaldua said.
This is not the first time Eddleman has been in trouble with the law. In May of 2004, he was arrested for DWI, reckless operation and negligent injuring. He plead no contest to the charges. In 2006, he was named in a lawsuit for using excessive force.
A spokesperson for BRPD says Eddleman remains on administrative leave, and they are investigating the case. Eddleman has been with the department for 23 years. He was off duty at the time of the incident. If Eddleman is convicted he faces up to eight years in prison.