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NYPD Officer accused in road rage incident

December 2, 2008 1:24:37 PM PST
A New York City police officer has been charged with beating a pedestrian. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that moments before the alleged assault, the officer almost struck the victim with his car as the man was crossing Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.

The officer was off-duty at the time of the alleged incident, which occurred two weeks ago.

The officer was identified as Jamel Dennis, 32, of Queens. Dennis, who is assigned to the NYPD's Brooklyn North Narcotics District, was arraigned Tuesday night in Queens Criminal Court on a charge of second-degree assault, a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Dennis was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on January 15, 2009.

Investigators said Dennis was driving along Queens Boulevard on the afternoon of November 17, when he almost struck Geoffrey Hollinden, 41, who was crossing near 109th Street.

Hollinden allegedly hit the rear of the defendant's 2006 Infiniti as it passed him, according to Brown. At that point, Dennis is accused of getting out of his car and attacking Hollinden, allegedly slamming him to the pavement and knocking him out.

Hollinden sustained a laceration to the head that required five staples, as well as cranial bleeding, a herniated disc in the neck and substantial pain that caused him to be hospitalized at a local Queens hospital for three days.

Prosecutors said Dennis appeared at the NYPD's 112th Precinct a couple of days after the incident, where he identified himself as an officer assigned to the Brooklyn North Narcotics District. He allegedly stated that he had been involved in a traffic dispute with another man who had pushed him and wanted to know if anyone had come in to file a complaint in connection with the incident.

That same day, Dennis allegedly pointed out a scuff mark on the rear of his Infiniti to an officer assigned to the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau and stated that was where the other man had hit the back of his car.

The case came to light when an eyewitness, who observed the alleged incident, jotted down the license plate of the defendant's car, Brown said.

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