A cop with the NYPD has been indicted for allegedly punching a homeless man six times in the face while on patrol in Greenwich Village in November 2021.
Officer Juan Perez, 42, has been charged with assault in the third degree, for allegedly pummeling a homeless man while making an arrest on MacDougal Street on Nov. 10, 2021.
Cell phone video taken at the scene shows Perez punching the victim repeatedly, leaving the man with a broken nose, bruising around the eyes and unconscious.
“The defendant’s assault caused the victim to suffer substantial pain,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a statement. “Police officers are often put in challenging situations, but they must use their training appropriately and treat the residents of New York with respect.”
The incident unfolded when Perez, who works out of the NYPD 6th Precinct, along with his partner received a call that a man was acting erratically on the corner of Bleecker and Sullivan streets.
When they arrived at the scene, according to court documents, they encountered the victim acting in a strange manner while holding an open bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey.
Perez allegedly told the homeless man to sit on a chair and took the bottle from his hand. The victim then tried to talk to Perez and attempted to stand up but was wobbly on his feet.
When the officers called for an ambulance, in the belief that the victim was intoxicated, the homeless man became confrontational, according to authorities. Perez allegedly then pushed the victim against the wall and sought to handcuff him. The pair then fell to the ground and a struggle ensued.
Perez, according to court documents, then punched the man in the face multiple times, while the victim was defenseless. The homeless man was brought to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken nose and significant swelling.
Perez faces up to one year in prison, with the assault charge being a class A misdemeanor.