Long Island, NY – A Rockville Centre Police Officer, who was accused of assaulting two suspects who attacked him outside of a bar in 2016, was acquitted of all charges on Tuesday (video below).
A portion of the altercation was captured in a cellphone video.
Prosecutors alleged that Officer Anthony Federico used excessive force against Kevin and Brendan Kavanagh when the lone officer responded to a report of a fight at approximately 3 a.m. on May 8, 2016, WCBS reported.
Officer Federico arrived at the scene to find Brendan, 20, assisting his brother, Kevin, 25, off of the ground, Newsday reported.
The intoxicated men had been involved in a fight with another group of young people, and Officer Federico was attempting to obtain information from the brothers.
According to the officer’s attorney, William Petrillo, Kevin punched the officer in the face, at which point an altercation ensued.
“He was on patrol that night, went to investigate a disturbance, and was attacked and defended himself,” Police Commissioner Charles Gennario said at the beginning of the officer’s trial, according to WCBS.
Officer Federico said that Kevin put him in a headlock and attempted to take his duty weapon, Newsday reported. As the officer struggled with Kevin, he was kicked by Brendan.
Officer Anthony Federico deployed his Taser to use against both men. During the fight, the officer reportedly hit Kevin in the head with his Taser, causing a 6 centimeter laceration, which required stitches.
The brothers were ultimately subdued and taken into custody.
Kevin was charged with attempted assault and resisting arrest, while Brendan faced charges of resisting arrest, obstructing the law, and possession of false driver’s licenses.
Their attorneys soon alleged that the Kavanagh brothers had “suffered a violent assault by a police officer and then were wrongfully arrested,” Newsday reported.
Officer Federico was charged with felony assault, and misdemeanor charges of assault, falsifying business records, and offering a false instrument for filing, Newsday reported.
He faced up to seven years in prison, WCBS reported.
Hundreds of supporters applauded the vindicated officer as he left the courthouse following his acquittal, Newsday reported.
"We feel very strongly about this case, that it never should have been presented to a grand jury in the first place," Petrillo told WABC. "We feel very confident that everything the police officer did that night was reasonable and responsive to the attack he was under."
Commissioner Gennario said that Officer Federico would immediately be restored to full duty.
Petrillo, who called the officer’s prosecution an “abomination,” said that his client was “extremely emotional” and “pleased that justice was served,” Newsday reported.
“Officer Federico looks forward now to continuing his life, serving the community in the exemplary fashion that he always has,” Petrillo said.
Watch Officer Federico’s altercation with the Kavanagh brothers in the video below: