ERIE, Pa. — A prosecutor and police supervisor say a Pennsylvania police officer kicked a handcuffed suspect’s face and stomped his head to punish him, not to bring the man under control as the officer and his defense attorney claim.

The Erie Times-News ( ) reports those statements were made Monday in the trial of Erie patrolman Justin Griffith.

He’s charged with simple assault in the Oct. 10 arrest of Patrick Gehrlein.

Griffith and his attorney contend the suspect spit on the officer after claiming to have AIDS and the officer merely put his foot on Gehrlein’s mouth.

But Cpl. Mike Brown says Griffith cursed then “kicked” Gehrlein in the face and “stomped his head” prompting Brown to report it to a supervisor. Erie County prosecutors say Griffith was “punishing” Gehrlein.

Testimony continues Tuesday.

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