Former KSP trooper charged with perjury, accused of lying under oath about use of force

The use of force happened in April 2020 and was recorded on video.
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky State Police have charged a former trooper with perjury after he was accused of lying under oath about his use of force while executing an arrest warrant in April 2020.

Thomas Czartorski and two other troopers went to a Shepherdsville home last April to arrest Alex Hornback who was wanted on a warrant. A home surveillance video obtained by WAVE 3 News shows Czartorski hitting Hornback in the leg with a flashlight multiple times while Hornback was on the ground.

Hornback, his mother and his father filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Czartorski and the two other troopers shown in the surveillance video. Hornback’s father filmed part of the April 2020 incident with his cell phone, but the lawsuit says the troopers threatened to arrest him if he didn’t delete the video.

Czartorski was deposed under oath in January 2021 for Hornback’s federal civil rights lawsuit and denied striking Hornback with an object when questioned by Hornback’s attorney, Chris Wiest, unaware of the surveillance camera in the family’s basement.

“When he was taken to the ground did you use any force on him?” Wiest asked.

“No,” Czartorski replied.

“Did you ever strike him with any object?” Wiest asked.

“No,” Czartorski replied.

A KSP lieutenant accused Czartorski of lying under oath and filed a complaint against him. On July 9, Czartorski was charged with perjury.

The federal civil rights lawsuit and criminal case against Czartorski are separate, but Wiest told WAVE 3 News both attempt to hold police accountable.

“I realize Alex wasn’t hospitalized, I realized it wasn’t a big damages case, but we just cannot allow police officers to not be honest,” Wiest said.

Czartorski is no longer with KSP; it’s not clear whether he was fired or resigned.

According to KSP records, Czartorski had two other use of force complaints prior to the Shepherdsville arrest, including an incident where he reportedly struck a handcuffed suspect in the leg with a flashlight.

The former trooper was suspended and ordered to undergo additional training following the two incidents.

WAVE 3 News has reached out to Czartorski’s attorney for comment.

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