Internal affairs officers arrested a Bronx cop Thursday for pummeling a shoplifter he arrested at a Target store near Yankee Stadium, law enforcement sources said.
Officer Ronald Taylor, 44, faces misdemeanor assault and harassment charges for the August 2013 beat down, officials said.
Taylor was on duty when he was called to the Exterior St. Target to arrest Fernando Rios for shoplifting just after 9:30 p.m, officials said. During the arrest, Taylor allegedly punched Rios repeatedly on the left side of his face, rupturing the would-be thief’s eardrum and breaking his nose.
Rios was mouthing off to Taylor and may have spit on the officer before he was attacked, law enforcement sources said.
Taylor, who joined the force in 1999 and who has spent most of his career in the Bronx, works in the Property Clerk’s Division. He was released without having to post bail at his arraignment on Thursday morning and is expected to respond to the charges in April, officials said.
“After a thorough and complete investigation and after the true facts are revealed, my client will be exonerated,” Taylor’s attorney Craig Hayes said.
If convicted of the existing charges, Taylor would face up to a year in jail.
Rios was charged with shop-lifting, law enforcement sources said.