A federal grand jury indicted 29-year-old police officer Roger Then on Friday for allegedly assaulting an attempted suicide victim at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Then was charged in a five-count indictment on conspiring to violate a person’s civil rights, two substantive counts of violating a person’s civil rights, misprision of felony for concealing civil rights violation, and falsifying a police report.
He was previously charged by a criminal complaint in May 2018. His alleged accomplice police officer Ruben McAusland was also charged by authorities.
The charges stemmed from a March 5, 2018 incident. A suicidal man called 911 and was taken by an ambulance to St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Both officers responded to the victim’s home and followed the fire department ambulance to the hospital to monitor him.
McAusland is seen standing at admission desk and the victim sitting in a wheelchair, according to a hospital surveillance video. The victim is seen throwing something down the hallway. McAusland looks angry and pushes the victim’s wheelchair with his hands and punches the victim in the face.
The ground bound victim is then grabbed by Then by the back of the neck and pushed to the ground.
A second video taken by Then using a cell phone shows the victim on his back in a hospital bed.
“Right here? See my cheek?” the victim taunts the officers.
Then turns the phone camera towards himself and smiles. He next turns the camera back towards the victim and McAusland.
“Ha, ha, bitch,” the victim is heard saying.
“I’m a what?” asks McAusland.
“Do it,” the victim says.
McAusland puts on a pair of gloves and violently strikes the victim twice across the face, according to charging documents.
“I ain’t f–king playing with you,” McAusland says standing over the victim.
The victim covered his face with his hands and fell silent.
“Calm your ass down,” McAusland is heard saying.
Both officers submitted false police reports that did not include their attacks on the victim, authorities said.
The victim sustained injuries to his face, including eye that required surgery as a result of the assaults.
McAusland pleaded guilty to charges of drug distribution and deprivation of civil rights under color of law on June 27, 2018. He is awaiting sentencing, authorities said.
Both officers reside in Paterson.
Then could face more than 30 years in federal prison if found guilty.