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NYPD officer among 4 charged in attack

November 22, 2010 1:04:19 PM PST
A man who may have been panhandling outside a Long Island deli was beaten by a New York City police officer and three others, who hurled racial epithets at the victim as they punched, kicked and smacked him with a baseball bat, police said. The victim, who was identified by police as a 52-year-old black man, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center for head injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

The attack took place around 8 a.m. Sunday outside the deli in Roosevelt. Detective Sgt. Keenchant Sewell said three Hispanic brothers who work at the deli told a man loitering outside to leave the front of the business. When the man failed to leave, the brothers and Juan Nunez, an off-duty New York City police officer, allegedly began beating him.

During the attack, the victim told police one of the assailants uttered racial epithets.

At a briefing Monday, Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said detectives have made a preliminary determination that the attack was not motivated by racial bias; he said the four men intended to have the victim leave the front of the store.

Nunez, 32, of Freeport, pleaded not guilty to assault at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead, where bail was set at $20,000. His attorney declined to speak with reporters. The NYPD suspended Nunez, a police officer since 2001, from his post at the 101st Precinct in Queens.

Arraignment information on the three other suspects was not immediately available.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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