Felony charges against NYPD officers

Stems from Halloween incident on Staten Island
March 4, 2008 3:13:00 AM PST
Two NYPD officers are facing a 33-count indictment for their Halloween stunt that left a 14-year-old Staten Island boy miles from his home. The officers, 29-year-old Richard Danese and 28-year-old Thomas Elliassen, were charged with multiple felonies, including unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child.

The officers will be arraigned on the charges in Staten Island Supreme Court at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

The indictment was handed down today, but 31 of the 33 counts remain sealed.

When they were originally arrested last November, they were charged only with two misdemeanors -- unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child.

On Halloween, Danese and Elliassen were allegedly trying to teach Reyshawn Moreno a lesson when they took him to a desolate area miles from his home and abandoned him after they caught him egging cars.

They said they were only trying to scare him and drove back a few minutes later to try to pick him up.

Moreno, who is black, accused the officers, both white, of using racial slurs.

He said he was so frightened that he stripped to keep the cops from identifying him if they returned.

Last month, Danese was also accused of trying to get information from Moreno's stepfather, James Hazel.

He was charged with accessing a confidential database, which contained personal information about Hazel.