Long Island, NY - Rockville Centre Police Officer Anthony Federico was indicted on felony assault charges for hitting suspects who attacked him.
The incident happened on May 8, 2016. ABC7 reports that just before 3 AM, Officer Federico responded to an assault on South Park Avenue, near Merrick Road. One of the subjects involved in the fight, Kevin Kavanagh, 25, was being helped off of the ground by Brendan Kavanagh, 20. Officer Federico approached the two to get information from them. Both suspects were allegedly intoxicated.
What happened next isn't clear, but at some point, the two brothers began to assault Officer Federico, hitting him in the head. Officer Federico's attorney said that Kevin held the officer in the headlock while putting his hand near Officer Federico's gun, while Brendan kicked the officer.
Officer Anthony Federico deployed his taser to use against both men. During the fight, the officer reportedly hit one of them in the head with his Taser, causing a 6 centimeter laceration which needed stitches.
Both men were taken into custody.
A cell phone video later surfaced (which has not been released,) that started mid-fight. After reviewing the footage and talking to the violent criminal suspects, the Nassau district attorney’s office filed felony charges against Officer Anthony Federico for "beating" the men who attacked him.
Officer Anthony Federico surrendered himself to be arrested on charges of third-degree assault, a felony, and two counts each of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing.
The false reporting charges appear to stem from the officer not putting in his report that he used his Taser to strike one of the suspects.
While lawyers can claim that missing a detail from a fight is evidence of criminality, the reality is that it is completely normal for people to experience memory loss in combat. This is something that is hard for anybody to actually understand who hasn't experienced stress from combat. This stress-induced memory loss is not just some oddball thing which rarely happens. Most people will be unable to remember all details after being involved in a fight.
Remembering absolutely every strike or every detail from a fight is actually impossible for most people, and it's something that people may not even realize unless they try to write down all of the details and find that there are gaps in their memory.
Not being able to remember a strike, and not documenting something that wasn't remembered, is not falsifying a report. When Officer Anthony Federico submits his report, he is only swearing that it is true to the best of his knowledge. If he cannot remember a detail, then the report is still true to the best of his knowledge.
Officer Federico's attorney, William Petrillo, lays out the absurd case against him here:
It would seem that the fact that Officer Federico was under attack from two men should be enough evidence to show that that striking them was justified, but attorneys who have never been in a fight see it differently.
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