Friday, October 5, 2007

Police officer ordered to anger management classes after shooting

HOUSTON (Map, News) - An off-duty Pasadena police officer who shot at a man in a road rage incident earlier this year was placed on probation and ordered to attend anger management classes Wednesday.

A jury found Marcus Justin Kacz guilty of deadly conduct. Visiting Judge Jim Larkin sentenced Kacz to 18 months probation for the misdemeanor. In addition to anger management classes, Kacz was fined $400, ordered to do community service and to undergo random urine tests.

"I think you made a big mistake and showed bad judgment," Larkin told Kacz.

Prosecutors said Kacz, 26, chased a driver who cut him off. Kacz, who was not in uniform, shot at a passenger in the sport utility vehicle at least three times.

Defense attorney Greg Cagle said Kacz followed the sport utility vehicle because the driver was running red lights and driving dangerously.

"I'm disappointed with the verdict, but he's a young, smart guy and we'll appeal it," Cagle said in a story for Wednesday's online edition of the Houston Chronicle.

Sgt. W.J. Fojt testified that it is against Pasadena Police Department policy for off-duty officers to pursue suspects.

"The evidence was against him," Michael Dannenbaum, jury foreman, told the newspaper. "He did not discharge the firearm to protect himself, and Pasadena's policy prohibits off-duty officers from pursuing chases."

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