BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne woman arrested in Eileen St. shooting following arrest in Van Wert County Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Coroner identifies Fort Wayne man killed in crash on Paulding Road Full Story

NJ police officer charged after alleged assault of hospital patient

A New Jersey police officer is out on bond after accusations of conspiring to cover up the assault of a hospital pati...

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 6:07 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 6:07 PM

A New Jersey police officer is out on bond after accusations of conspiring to cover up the assault of a hospital patient, a spokesman for the US Attorney's Office in New Jersey said Thursday.

Roger Then, 29, a City of Paterson police officer, was charged Wednesday with conspiring to violate an individual's civil rights and with misprision of felony for concealing that civil rights violation, the US attorney's office said.

Then made an initial court appearance Wednesday and was released on $150,000 bond, said Will Skaggs, a spokesman for the US Attorney's Office.

The incident happened March 5 when a Paterson resident, referred to in court documents only as "the victim," called for help following a suicide attempt.

Then and a fellow officer, called simply "Officer 1" in court documents, were dispatched to the victim's address, where the Paterson Fire Department was already treating him, and had identified him as an "emotionally disturbed person," according to court documents. The man was taken to St. Joseph's Medical Center, where the officers met up with the patient.

In their police report, Then and the other officer said the man "became combative and began (to) throw medical glove boxes at the staff." The report, which CNN could not obtain independently, but is characterized in the complaint, says they and hospital staff restrained the victim, who was taken to a bed for a psychiatric evaluation.

In two video recordings described in the criminal complaint, however -- one from hospital surveillance cameras, and one taken by Officer Then -- prosecutors say that Then and the other officer punched, struck, and pushed the victim to the ground.

Prosecutors say the officers' report omitted the alleged assault.

Initial calls to Then's attorney, a public defender, were not immediately returned. Officials have not released the name of the other officer mentioned in the complaint.

Two videos

The surveillance video shows events in the emergency room waiting area. It shows the victim in a wheelchair apparently throwing an object down the hallway while Officer 1 was standing by the admissions desk, according to the complaint.

"Police Officer 1 appeared to be angry, ran towards the victim, and cocked his right arm as though he was going to punch the victim," the complaint says.

The officer then pushed the wheelchair with his hands, according to the court document, and proceeded to "punch the victim in the victim's face." As the victim was still in the wheelchair and falling towards the ground, Officer Then grabbed him by the back of his neck and pushed him to the ground, the complaint says.

The second video was allegedly taken by Then on his cell phone and shows events inside the patient's room, as the victim lies on a hospital bed and speaks to Officer 1.

Officer Then appears to turn the camera toward himself and has "a large smile across his face," the complaint says. He turns the camera back to the patient, who calls Officer 1 an expletive, to which the officer responds, "I'm a what?" according to the complaint.

"The victim said, 'Do it.' Police Officer 1 put on a pair of hospital gloves and proceeded to violently strike the victim twice across the face," the complaint says, adding that the victim covered his face with his hands and was silent.

Because of the officers' actions, the patient suffered multiple injuries to his face, including an eye injury that required surgery, the court document says.

Police report

The officers' police report notes that medical staff advised them the victim "has a history of psychiatric issues."

But the report did not include any mention of physical altercations with the victim, the US Attorney's Office said, and the officers concealed the video recorded on Then's cell phone from law enforcement authorities, the complaint said.

Federal agents arrested Then on Wednesday, the US Attorney's Office said.

The count of conspiracy to violate civil rights carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The misprision of felony count carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison. Both counts are also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.

The criminal complaint made no mention of any charges against Officer 1, and the US Attorney's Office will not comment beyond the contents of the complaint. The complaint said only that as of April, Officer 1 was no longer on active duty with the Paterson Police Department.

Paterson Police Department Director Jerry Speziale declined to comment on Officer 1, citing an ongoing investigation initiated by the Paterson Police Department.

The police department is working in conjunction with the FBI and the county prosecutor's office, he said, adding that Then's actions are not "indicative of the other 418 members of Paterson's finest that serve with professionalism, respect and integrity."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751826

Reported Deaths: 13811
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033581790
Lake557861011
Allen41721692
St. Joseph37001565
Hamilton36612417
Elkhart29416461
Tippecanoe22926227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19364326
Johnson18481389
Hendricks17692317
Clark13231195
Madison13166344
Vigo12629253
LaPorte12425221
Monroe12219176
Delaware10969198
Howard10343225
Kosciusko9636121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7862156
Floyd7814180
Grant7246179
Wayne7165201
Boone6976103
Morgan6764141
Dubois6222118
Marshall6211116
Cass6023110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502296
Lawrence4749122
Gibson445395
Clinton443255
Harrison441775
DeKalb440085
Montgomery438890
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400559
Miami395669
Jasper388855
Knox377491
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332453
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246236
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221448
Sullivan214643
Owen212258
Fulton203443
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175144
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120748
Newton114436
Brown104443
Benton102514
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84015
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109374

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1288561469
Cuyahoga1158492216
Hamilton814161251
Montgomery525741049
Summit484431006
Lucas43380824
Butler39066606
Stark33348930
Lorain25690506
Warren24607305
Mahoning22383602
Lake21216389
Clermont20133253
Delaware18873136
Licking16668225
Fairfield16582204
Trumbull16559483
Medina15615273
Greene15289248
Clark14240306
Wood13296200
Portage13251216
Allen11916239
Richland11610211
Miami10857225
Wayne9147225
Columbiana9038230
Muskingum8908135
Pickaway8663122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8646139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6998133
Ross6946163
Geauga6843151
Scioto6536106
Belmont6159174
Union584849
Lawrence5739102
Jefferson5681159
Huron5550122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5323109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487585
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435897
Putnam4335104
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4045110
Brown402561
Logan387678
Preble3858105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359966
Williams348478
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318354
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285550
Hardin275565
Henry273667
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269260
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197448
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110024
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 57°
Angola
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntington
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 58°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Cool conditions are expected through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events