White Castle beating suspect acquitted

March 25, 2009 2:03:51 PM PDT
A man accused in the gang assault that led to the death of a police officer was acquitted of all charges Wednesday. Daryl Massey, who prosecutors contend took part in the beating of Officer Eric Hernandez inside a Bronx White Castle in January of 2006, was the only suspect not to accept a plea deal last May. He claimed he never laid a hand on the officer.

The other five suspects received prison sentences of four to 10 years after pleading guilty to gang assault. No suspects were charged in relation of the death of the off-duty officer, who was shot by responding officers.

Edwin Rivera, Nelson Rodriguez, Alexander Fontanez, Jonathan Ayala and Victor Mercado waived the right to appeal and are currently serving out their sentences.

Surveillance video from that night showed the 24-year-old rookie cop in a long white jacket and blue hat getting stomped on by a group of men inside the Webster Avenue restaurant.

Then, grainy cell phone video showed the fight spilling out onto the street.

Hernandez pulled his gun on a bystander he thought was one of his attackers. Then, police in plain clothes stepped in, not knowing Hernandez was a cop. Hernandez was shot when he refused to drop his weapon.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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