VANCOUVER -- A Washougal police officer who was fired for using excessive force was convicted of fourth-degree assault Wednesday in Clark County District Court.

Robert Ritchie was sentenced to two days of house arrest and two years' probation.

The Columbian reports Ritchie punched a mentally ill man in the back seat of a police car last July because he was thrashing around and spitting.

The 53-year-old Ritchie was a 29-year police veteran. He was demoted from sergeant in 2004 for shooting a suspect 27 times with a stun gun.

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