GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - We're learning more information about a former Gulfport Police officer who was arrested Friday morning on a charge of attempted sexual battery.
Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara told WLOX News the alleged incident against Mario Hill happened while he was on duty with the Gulfport Police Department.
"On June 8, 2014, the Gulfport Police Department received information that alleged an on-duty Gulfport Police officer, later identified as Mario Hill, had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a female who was a passenger in his police vehicle," said Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania in a press release Friday afternoon. "The female was not under arrest."
According to court documents obtained by WLOX, on June 8, Hill was giving two females a ride from the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Mocking Bird Lane to the Motel 6 on Highway 49.
The documents say Hill took a turn down Johnson Road and exited the vehicle. That is when he allegedly pulled the victim out of the back of his patrol vehicle and attempted to sexually assault her.
According to court documents, Hill groped the victim until the incident was interrupted when another law enforcement officer from another agency turned onto the road. Hill allegedly pushed the victim back into his vehicle, and dropped the two women off at the Motel 6.
Papania said at that time, he started an internal investigation of the allegation and reassigned Hill to non-enforcement duties. He also says he notified the District Attorney's Office.
"During the initial internal investigation, which was evaluating potential policy violations, it was determined that a criminal investigation was warranted," said Papania.
Officials say that's when the Harrison County Sheriff's Department began a criminal investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigations Gulfport Office was also notified at this point.
Hill resigned from the Gulfport Police Department on June 24.