Jeffrey Warrick, whose push-up records have several times been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, was convicted Friday of the violent assault on a female Buffalo police officer during a series of street incidents last year that resulted in his older sister losing her job as a city police officer.
Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka, who conducted a four-day non-jury trial last month, found Warrick, 37, guilty as charged of second-degree assault, attempted escape, criminal mischief, obstructing and harassment.
The incidents began when police officers Traci Calandra, John Kaska, and other officers answered a call to a Jewett Avenue residence and Warrick, who was present, refused to talk to police.
Pietruszka said unrefuted evidence that Warrick "turned to confront the officers," took off his shirt and assumed what the judge called "an aggressive martial stance directly at a police officer" justified Calandra and other officers present in considering him "a threat to strike" them. Warrick was subdued and placed under arrest for harassment.
As Calandra and Kaska, with Warrick in the back seat of their patrol car, stopped on Fillmore at Kensington avenues about 1 a.m., off-duty officer Aleshia King -- Warrick's sister -- drove her sport utility vehicle off the nearby Kensington Expressway and blocked the movement of the patrol car.
It was at that point that Warrick began kicking, eventually breaking out two of the car's rear windows, testifying on Aug. 17 that he only kicked out the two windows because he feared police were about to kill him. He denied kicking Calandra in the back in an effort to escape.
Calandra, a three-year police veteran currently on a disability leave because of an injury in July, testified last month that Warrick violently kicked her in the back from the rear of the patrol car as she stopped King from trying to free him.
During the trial, Dr. Eugene J. Gosy, a neurologist specializing in pain management, testified that her continuing back problems were "unquestionably" caused by the actions of Warrick.
On the advice of his attorney, John C. Murrett Jr., who will be appealing the verdict, Warrick declined to comment on the case.
Last Oct. 4, City Judge Margaret A. Murphy found King guilty of obstructing government administration for cutting off the patrol car. Three days later, Police Commissioner Rocco Diina fired King.
Though Warrick faces a state prison term of up to seven years, the judge allowed him to remain free, pending his scheduled Dec. 12 sentencing, noting Warrick's "significant ties" to Buffalo and his prompt appearance for all court sessions.