Paterson police officer accused of assaulting hospital patient

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Another police officer from Paterson, New Jersey, has been arrested by federal agents -- this time for an alleged assault on a patient at a city hospital.

Officer Roger Then, 29, of Paterson, is accused of pushing a wheelchair-bound patient to the ground at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center on March 5.

The incident appears to have started after two officers responded to a suicidal patient at the hospital. Authorities say the patient threw an object down the hall and then began to insult the police officers.

According to a cell phone video that is believed to have been recorded by Then, the other responding officer put on a pair of hospital gloves and punched the patient twice in the face. The officer then stood over the victim and said, "I ain't (expletive) playing with you."

Officer Then would later be seen grabbing the patient by the back of the neck and pushing him to the ground, which was caught on surveillance video. The video shot by Then then shows the victim on his back in a hospital bed.

The victim suffered an eye injury and several facial injuries that required surgery. The report filed by the other officer neglected to mention the assaults.

Officer Then was later arrested by FBI agents and charged with conspiracy to violate the patient's civil rights and for concealing the violation. This incident marks the latest in a string of federal arrests of a Paterson police officer in the past two months.

In April, two officers were accused of illegally stopping and searching vehicles, detaining the occupants while improperly taking cash and other items from them.

Officers Eudy Ramos and Jonathan Bustios are charged with conspiracy to commit civil rights violations, while Bustios also was charged with extortion.

Another officer, Ruben McAusland, was arrested at the end of April and charged with selling drugs while on the job.

Paterson officials are continuing their ongoing collaboration with federal officials in making the arrests.

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