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Counts erased against victim of cop beating

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PHILADELPHIA — Authorities have dropped attempted murder and aggravated assault charges against a carjacking suspect whose violent arrest was videotaped by a television news helicopter.

The charges against Thomas Jones were dropped Monday as police said an officer was actually wounded by a fellow officer during the July 12 chase — not by the suspect.

Jones is still accused of carjacking, robbery and fleeing police, but ballistics tests indicate Officer Michael Livewell was shot in the thumb by Officer Cedric Gaines. Both officers struggled with Jones in an attempt to stop him from stealing a police cruiser.

"Mr. Jones is obviously not the person who fired the shell that hit Officer Livewell," Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said.

Jones, 30, was kicked and punched by police officers during his arrest after a chase and shootout. He was hospitalized in critical condition after the arrest with five gunshot wounds to his arm and stomach. He was released Monday.

"My client has always maintained he didn't have a gun," said Philadelphia attorney Blake Berenbaum, who is representing Jones and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in a civil lawsuit planned against the city.