Billionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein alleged that a former police officer from the area who is behind bars after being charged in a quadruple homicide “roughed him up” before he died, according to a New York Post report.
Epstein was found dead in his cell on Saturday, Aug. 10, despite being on a "special observation" watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan. Epstein's special observation required frequent checks by guards and a cellmate at all times, conditions which reportedly not followed.
According to an autopsy, Epstein died from a broken bone in his neck, which is common in victims who die from hanging or strangulation.
Shortly before his death, Epstein was sharing a cell with Nicholas Tartaglione - a former cop in Briarcliff Manor, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, and Pawling - who was questioned in connection to a potential assault of the 66-year-old Epstein several weeks before his death.
According to the report from the New York Post, Epstein told his lawyers that “the cop roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch.” That claim has been disputed by Tartaglione’s lawyers, and no additional charges have been filed against Tartaglione.
Tartaglione is still potentially facing the death penalty for his alleged role in murdering four men, which led to Tartaglione's arrest on Dec. 19, 2016.
According to the initial indictment that was filed in White Plains Federal Court, Tartaglione killed Martin Luna, 41, Urbano Santiago, 32, Miguel Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 43, at the Likquid Lounge - a bar that his brother reportedly managed for a time in the town of Chester in Orange County - when a cocaine deal went badly involving at least one of the victims.
Prosecutors had argued that Tartaglione killed Luna as part of a drug transaction, leaving his other three victims with his cohorts. The new indictment charges that Tartaglione “intentionally and knowingly killed, and counseled, commanded, induced, procured, and caused the intentional killing” of Luna at the bar and that the other three men were then taken to Otisville and killed there.
It is further alleged that Tartaglione then drove with the bodies for approximately a half-hour from the bar in Chester to his farm in Otisville, also in Orange. Four bodies would be removed from his property the day after he was arrested.
According to court papers, in 1999, Tartaglione was charged with perjury and official misconduct after testifying in court at a DMV license revocation hearing for a friend. Tartaglione was ultimately acquitted at trial, but fired in Briarcliff Manor.
In 2003, he sued to get his job back and received more than $300,000 in back pay. He retired from the force in 2008 on disability with a reported annual pension of $65,000.
Tartaglione also had an ongoing legal battle with the late Clay Tiffany, an Ossining resident who hosted the popular public-access TV show, “Dirge For The Charlatans." Tiffany sued the village of Briarcliff Manor multiple times, claiming that Tartaglione assaulted him.
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