Disturbing video surfaced in January of this year showing police officers throw a man into a wall, then mace him after he stumbled to the ground in a disorientated stupor. The cop who maced the man was seen with a huge grin on his face after the assault, the other cops with him were then seen laughing as the man is lying on the ground suffering with his face and head smashed up. The victim said he had brain injuries, chipped teeth, and was left with a permanent lump on the back of his head from the assault. Nothing happened to the police involved as the man says he couldn't find his lawyer who had the video for two years, that is, until now.
SEABROOK — One of three Seabrook police officers investigated after a YouTube video showed alleged brutality against a teenager at the police station could face a maximum of two to five years in state prison.Here's a video report on the indictment from CBS News:
Officer Mark Richardson has been indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury on one count of felony simple assault. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said the charge carries an enhanced penalty because Richardson was on duty when he allegedly slammed Michael Bergeron Jr., of Seabrook, then 19, head-first into a concrete wall on Nov. 11, 2009.
Richardson, officer Adam Laurent and officer Keith Dietenhofer were all placed on paid administrative leave after Bergeron, now 23, posted surveillance footage of the alleged assault on YouTube on Jan. 6.
All three officers were shown in the video, but Young said charges were only pursued against Richardson and Laurent because they were the ones "who appeared to have taken action" during the alleged assault.
The grand jury chose not to indict Laurent, however, and Young said he "will not face a criminal charge" for allegedly using oleoresin capsicum, commonly referred to as pepper spray, to subdue Bergeron during the incident.
Young said Thursday that she couldn't comment further on the investigation into the three officers because it is a "pending matter in court." She also said she couldn't comment on circumstances surrounding the decision to seek a simple assault charge against Richardson.
"That information will come out during the course of any (upcoming) court proceedings," Young said.
Richardson is scheduled for arraignment in Rockingham Superior Court at 1 p.m. April 24. The felony simple assault charge also carries a maximum fine of $4,000.
Seabrook Town Manager Bill Manzi said that, as of Thursday, all three officers remained on paid administrative leave due to the investigation.
Manzi said Seabrook Police Chief Lee Bitomske is expected to notify the town at some point today whether the individuals' employment would continue. Manzi said that decision would be discussed with selectmen during a special emergency nonpublic meeting at 1 p.m. today at Town Hall, and he said town officials would publicly comment on the matter at the conclusion of that session.