A former East Alton police sergeant has admitted to violating a burglar's civil rights and could face up to a year in prison as a result. Brent E. Wells entered a guilty plea in federal court this week to violating the civil rights of a civilian.

Wells, who was off-duty at the time, confronted the victim as he was trying to break into Wells' home last September 11. The burglar was arrested, but Wells told officers as they led the man away that he was going to hurt the man, and proceeded to punch him several times in the kidneys. Wells was a 15-year veteran of the department.

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