VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Circuit Court Judge James Lewis dismissed a misdemeanor assault and battery charge Monday against former patrol officer Jemarr Mosley.

Mosley, 25, admitted he punched a mental patient three times in the face after that patient spat at him at Virginia Beach General Hospital. Mosley and other officers who testified said that the man was known to spit at people.

Mosley also said he was once an amateur boxer.

Mosley said the patient had taken an aggressive posture toward a fellow officer.

“I’m in a battle at that point,” Mosley testified. “I can’t jump out of the battle after just one punch.”

Mosley first hit the man with a right to the face, busting his lip, and then struck him twice more as both fell to the floor.

Judge James Lewis said he doesn’t approve of what happened, calling it disturbing, but the elements of the case did not rise to the level of a Class 1 misdemeanor assault.

Mosley testified he felt being spit at was almost as degrading as having urine or feces thrown at him. 

Neither Mosley nor his attorney Kristin Paulding had any comment as they left the courthouse.

Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Lang said what Mosley did was an old-school technique police used to call “tuning someone up.” He said that’s not what police do in this day and age. And if it is, Lang said, he’s afraid of where our society is going.

Mosley said that he had resigned from the police department. Chief Paul Neudigate had said earlier this year that “it is my assessment that our officer used a level of force that was neither reasonable nor necessary” and that Mosley “strayed outside his oath of responsibility and training.”