A Leavenworth man has been sentenced to probation for pushing a police officer down stairs.

A Leavenworth man has been sentenced to probation for pushing a police officer down stairs.

De'Aire A. McNeal, 19, was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County District Court for a charge of

battery of a law enforcement officer.

The charge stemmed from a March 12 incident. Police officers were attempting to speak with McNeal. He tried to leave and go down a set of stairs. One of the officers tried to stop him, and McNeal reportedly shoved her. The officer hit her head on the floor at the base of the stairs, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

McNeal pleaded guilty to the charge June 15.

District Judge Michael Gibbens recently took over the criminal docket for Leavenworth County District Court. He noted that another judge had handled last month's plea.

Gibbens said the charge indicates there was bodily harm to the victim.

"What was the bodily harm?" he said.

Assistant County Attorney Katie Devlin reviewed what happened during the March 12 incident and said the officer suffered a concussion and other injuries.

"She had blurred vision for a couple of days," Devlin said.

Under the state's sentencing guidelines, McNeal was facing what is referred to as a "presumptive prison" sentence. That is because a special rule applied in the case because it involved the battery of a law enforcement officer.

Devlin argued for the prison sentence.

McNeal's attorney, Matthew Tillma, filed a motion seeking probation for his client.

In court Friday, Tillma argued an evaluation of McNeal by a doctor suggests anxiety and severe substance abuse played roles in what happened during the March 12 incident.

"This is his first felony conviction," Tillma said. "He is 19 years old."

According to information from the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office, McNeal will turn 20 on July 29.

Tillma said McNeal pleaded guilty and took responsibility for what happened. Tillma also said the defendant already had spent four months in jail as a result of the case.

Gibbens said the type of behavior Devlin had described can cause serious injury. But the judge said he found the defendant's age a compelling reason to grant probation as well as the report from the doctor who evaluated McNeal and the fact that the defendant had no prior felony conviction.

Gibbens suspended a 13-month prison sentence and ordered McNeal to serve 18 months of probation. The judge also imposed a 60-day jail sanction, which will keep McNeal in custody while an inpatient treatment program is arranged.

Gibbens told McNeal he needs to follow through the with the terms of his probation. The judge said it is unlikely he will place McNeal back on probation if the terms are violated.

Following the sentencing, Thompson said in a statement, "Our police officers potentially risk their lives whenever they come to work. We’re grateful the outcome of the injuries were not worse."

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