Victim, fired cop testify against former Gwinnett County police officer

Gwinnett County jurors heard from several witnesses in the third day of testimony in Robert McDonald's aggravated assault trial. Two key witnesses took the stand: Demetrius Hollins and Michael Bongiovanni.

Hollins was 21 years old at the time of his April 2017 encounter with McDonald and Bongiovanni. He told jurors Robert McDonald put a gun to Hollins' head after Bongiovanni had already punched him, used a Taser on him several times and handcuffed him.

"I thought that was the day I was going to die. He [McDonald] told me he was going to splatter my brains all over the street," Hollins told the jury.

Bongiovanni, who was not in court during Hollins' testimony, took issue with the attorneys' description of the strike as a punch telling jurors it was a forearm strike.

"Everyone keeps saying it was an elbow strike or a punch. It was a forearm strike that we learn in training," the fired police Sergeant told jurors.

Former Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni has tesified against former Officer Robert McDonald.


He also took issue with the description of McDonald's strike to Hollins on the ground as a kick.

"I saw him deliver a downward strike near the shoulder of the suspect," he also said Hollins was not actively resisting and said he saw McDonald with a gun "in close proximity" to Hollins head.

To avoid prison time, Bongiovanni agreed to testify against the officer he called for backup on April 12, 2017. The defense attorney will resume cross-examination Wednesday morning.