John Galmon, 26, and Spencer Sutton, 24, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor charges of simple battery. New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison said Thursday that his department's investigation "could very well lead to further charges," the Times-Picayune reported.
The former police officers are accused of beating Jorge Gomez, 39, who said he was born in the United States but was raised in Honduras.
Gomez told The New Orleans Advocate that neither of the off-duty police officers identified themselves when he was allegedly confronted by them at the Mid-City Yacht Club. Gomez told the newspaper that one of the men told him he did not like the military camouflage shirt and pants he was wearing. Gomez has served with the Louisiana National Guard, the Advocate reported.
"He asked me if I was an American," Gomez told the Advocate. "I told him 'Yes,' and he got mad because he said I was fake."
The two former officers graduated from a police training academy in December, the Advocate reported.
In a statement, Harrison said investigators collected video evidence and witness statements which "clearly" established that Galman, 26, and Sutton, 24, were the aggressors in an altercation culminating at Baudin and South Murat streets.
"The swift pace at which the Public Integrity Bureau investigated this incident and the decisive actions taken by the NOPD ... by arresting the officers and starting the termination process clearly demonstrate how seriously our department views their actions."
Sutton's attorney Jake Lemmon. told The Associated Press that his client and Galman, "maintain their innocence."
In a Facebook post, the Mid-City Yacht Club said Gomez was a longtime customer and they were "very sickened" by what happened. The bar also announced on Facebook that it was planning a fundraiser for Gomez on Saturday. Also, a GoFundMe page has raised more than $3,700 on Gomez's behalf.