Police officers Kevin Patino and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo allegedly assaulted 19-year-old Osamah Alsidi in an unprovoked attack then wrote a false police report to cover up their criminal conduct, according to federal charging documents.
Patino and Tineo-Restituyo, both charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of record, arrived at 1245 Madison Avenue in an unmarked police vehicle at about 12:30 a.m. on December 14, 2020.
Both men were wearing plain clothes and tactical vests with patches on the front and back that identified them as police, according to charging documents. Both men visibly displayed their police badges. Patino and Tineo approached two other officers, identified as Officer 1 and Officer 2, who had arrived earlier in response to a call about a “suspicious person” in the area. Both Officer 1 and Officer 2 were speaking with Alsidi. After a few minutes, both Officer 1 and Officer 2, returned to their vehicle. Patino and Tineo returned to their unmarked vehicle.
Tineo drove the unmarked police vehicle towards Alsidi as he was walking down Madison Avenue.
“What did you say?” Tineo repeatedly asked Alsidi after rolling down the driver’s side window of the unmarked vehicle.
Alsidi replied he didn’t say anything.
Tineo then made a sharp left turn towards Alsidi and parked the unmarked vehicle, according the charging documents. Patino and Tineo got out of the vehicle and approached Alsidi, grabbing hold of him. Alsidi tried to separate himself from Patino and Tineo.
Patino allegedly struck Alsidi in the face and body “numerous times,” according to charging documents. Tineo held him. Then he picked Alsidi up and threw him to the ground. Both Patino and Tineo then repeatedly struck Alsidi on the ground.
False police report
Both police officers then wrote a false police report about the incident. In their report they falsely claimed Alsidi walked towards them “screaming profanities and acting belligerent.” Their report also states Alsidi took up an “aggressive fighting stance by blading his body and clutching his fist.”
Patino writes in the report that Alsidi “struck” him with a “closed fist about the chest area” causing him to “stumble back” prompting the officer to strike the victim. He also writes Alsidi tried to remove his police radio from his pouch.
“He was actively resisting arrest by tensing his body and swinging his upper torso erratically,” said Patino’s false police report, according to the charging documents.
Patino and Tineo signed off on the police report.
The charging documents state both officers falsely claimed Alsidi walked towards the officers screaming profanities and causing a disturbance. Their report also falsely claimed Alsidi approached them and got in a fighting stance.
The false report also claims Alsidi struck Patino with a closed fist in the chest area. Their report fails to mention both officers struck the victim after he was on the ground.
Internal Affairs failure
Alsidi filed a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division, a unit within the police force that is supposed to investigate misconduct. Nothing happened.
A viral video of the incident led to an outcry in February prompting New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal to open an investigation into the incident.
Soon after charges were announced against the two officers on Tuesday morning, Grewal said the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office has taken control of the Internal Affairs Division.
“The people of Paterson deserve a police department worthy of their trust,” said Grewal in the announcement. “They deserve to know that allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. With today’s action, the Prosecutor’s Office will ensure that happens.”
The FBI reviewed the video which was captured on the surveillance camera of a nearby business. “The Video generally confirms the information obtained from other sources,” reads the charging documents.
The video laid bare the false police report.
Patino and Tineo allegedly attacked Alsidi, who was walking with his hands in his pockets, without provocation.
Patino and Tineo joined the police force in 2017. Both were suspended without pay after charges against them were announced, said mayor Andre Sayegh.
Both officers made their initial appearance before federal judge Andre Espinosa on Tuesday afternoon. Patino and Tineo and their attorneys appeared via Zoom. Both men were released with conditions on $50,000 bond each.
Espinosa set travel restrictions, and other conditions on both officers. He also ordered Patino to submit to mental health testing and treatment.
Patino and Tineo could face a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted.
Since 2018, 10 Paterson police officers, including a sergeant, have been charged with corruption.
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