A police officer has admitted in federal court on Thursday to attacking two people in separate encounters.
Kevin Patino, 32, of Wayne, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating an individual’s civil rights, authorities said.
Charges against Patino stem from two separate assaults on two Paterson residents in 2020.
In the first incident on Nov. 26, 2020, Patino responded to a backup request on Main Street, where he encountered a person verbally engaging with another officer. After the individual initially refused to move as directed, Patino pushed them away, then returned to further confront and physically assault them despite no apparent threat. This assault included pushing the victim into the street, throwing them to the ground, and repeatedly striking them. Another officer intervened, handcuffing the victim during the altercation.
Authorities did not disclose the name of the first victim.
The second incident occurred on Dec. 14, 2020, when Patino, in an unmarked vehicle, was called to investigate a suspicious person on Madison Avenue. Following the interaction with the suspicious individual, Patino and another officer approached a bystander. Patino exited the vehicle and assaulted the bystander with multiple strikes to the face and body, continuing even after the individual was brought to the ground, despite the victim posing no danger.
Second victim has been identified as Osamah Alsidi by other sources. His case received statewide attention after a video of the attack, made public by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in New Jersey, went viral on social media. This prompted authorities to investigate the attack.
Patino admitted that his use of force in both instances was unreasonable and excessive, violating the victims’ Fourth Amendment rights. He faces a maximum of two years in prison and $100,000 fine, according to authorities.
Patino’s sentencing is scheduled for July 23, 2024.