BY THE VILLAGE SUN | A 6th Precinct police officer was indicted for allegedly punching a man in the face and knocking him out during an arrest nearly two years ago.
The indictment against Police Officer Juan Perez, 42, meaning the case can now go to trial, was announced on May 24 by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. According to Bragg, Perez punched the victim six times in the face, breaking his nose and leaving him unconscious. Perez was charged with one count of third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
“As we allege, the defendant’s assault caused the victim to suffer substantial pain,” Bragg said. “Police officers are often put in challenging situations, but they must use their training appropriately and treat the residents of New York City with respect.”
According to the prosecution, on Nov. 10, 2021, Perez and his partner responded to a radio call about an individual acting erratically on the corner of Bleecker and Sullivan Streets.
As they were driving to respond to the incident, they encountered at MacDougal Street the individual who had also been acting erratically and was holding a bottle of alcohol. Perez told the man to sit on a chair on the sidewalk and took the bottle from his hand.
The man continued talking to Perez and repeatedly sought to stand up. Perez eventually called for an ambulance since he believed the individual to be intoxicated. Eventually, after a continued verbal back and forth, Perez pushed the man against the wall and sought to handcuff him. Both Perez and the other guy eventually fell to the ground and began to struggle with each other. Perez’s partner returned from the vehicle and helped subdue the individual.
Perez then proceeded to punch the victim — who was reportedly lying on the ground defenseless — six times in the face rapidly. The man was brought to the hospital, where he was found to have a broken nose with significant swelling, plus bruising around his eyes.