A Paterson police officer beat a 19-year-old Arab-American man and then lied about it, a federal grand jury charged.
Officers Kevin Patino, 29, violated the civil rights of the victim, according to the indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Newark, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Philip R. Sellinger said.
Osamah Alsaidi was walking with his hands in his pockets the night of Dec. 14, 2020 when Patino and Officer Kendry Tineo-Restituyo approached him, the U.S. attorney said.
What they didn’t know was that area surveillance cameras were recording the incident (see below).
“Patino grabbed hold of the victim,” Sellinger said. “When the victim attempted to separate himself, Patino struck the victim in the face and body numerous times."
Tineo-Restituyo then picked the victim up and threw him to the ground, after which, Sellinger said Patino then repeatedly hit him.
Patino later filed incident reports that "contained numerous false statements and omissions, regarding the arrest of the victim," the U.S. attorney said.
Federal authorities previously said the officers falsely reported that Alsaidi approached them “screaming profanities” and “acting belligerent” and then punched Patino in the chest.
Alsaidi described the incident: “These officers came out of nowhere to block me from walking and beat me up on my own block. Then [another officer] assaults me at the hospital away from cameras and people to avoid witnesses."
Alsaidi, who was diagnosed with head trauma and a concussion, said he was “walking on my block towards my car to go to work” in the area of 1245 Madison Avenue around 12:30 a.m. when a city police car “pulled over to block me from walking with their car.”
The two officers “came out of the car and started punching me for no reason,” Alsaidi said.
After throwing him down, he said, “they kept smashing my head on the ground, causing me to black out for a moment.”
They arrested him and charged him with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, Alsaidi said.
Another officer “took me to the hospital and I told the nurse how I got my injuries,” he said.
Alsaidi said he was discharged before his injuries could be treated. An officer then “punched me, threw me into the car, and slammed the door,” he said.
“After I was released, I had to go to the hospital on my own and I was diagnosed with head trauma and concussion (I have the papers from the hospital). I was having migraines and was partially blind for the next couple of weeks.”
Patino and Tineo- Restituyo “wrote a false police report stating that I went up to these officers and punched Patino in the chest and caused him to fall back,” Alsaidi said. “They also wrote that I grabbed Patino’s vest and tried to take his police radio and Tineo came and arrested me.
“The video shows the truth, it shows what actually happened.”
The federal indictment charges Patino with conspiracy against rights "by depriving a man of his constitutional right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by law enforcement officers, deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of records.
Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, the state Attorney General’s Office, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and the North Jersey Public Corruption Task Force, composed of members of FBI and New Jersey State Police with the investigation leading to the indictment, secured by Senior Civil Rights Counsel Joseph Gribko of his Criminal Division in Newark.
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