Monday, September 28, 2009

Officer Joseph Rios Charged with Aggravated Assault

The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office has charged police officer Joseph Rios with third-degree aggravated assault and second-degree official misconduct.

Last May, Rios was allegedly captured on surveillance video beating a mental patient with his baton, sparking allegations of police brutality.

Ronnie Holloway was arrested after the incident. He insists he did not provoke the beating. Four months after the 50-year-old schizophrenia patient was allegedly beaten, an incident that community activists called unprovoked police brutality, the Passaic County prosecutor filed the charges.

Surveillence video shows the beating, which took place outside of Lawrence's Restaurant on Main street in Passaic on May 29th. In the video, Rios' patrol car pulls up, a female officer gets out and orders Holloway to zip his jacket. Moments later, Rios gets out, approaches Holloway and appears to strike him several times with his fists and baton.

Holloway appears not to resist or fight back. He's knocked to the grorund, picked up and slammed onto the police cruiser. He was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and approaching a location to buy drugs. Holloway, who takes medication and had never been arrested, suffered a black eye and bruised ribs.

Rios has been suspended without pay from Passaic's police force. His attorney says evidence will eventually prove that Rios did nothing wrong.

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