FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A police officer in Monmouth County has been sentenced to five years in prison after his conviction on official misconduct and assault charges in the beating of a man.

Steven Solari, 40, was sentenced Thursday in Superior Court in Freehold.

Solari, who was an officer in Little Silver, went to check on the man at the request of the man’s mother in 2009 but ended up arresting him following a scuffle, prosecutors said. Solari took the man to police headquarters for booking instead of to a hospital, according to authorities. Solari also punched the handcuffed man and tried to cover up what happened, prosecutors said.

The Asbury Park Press reports that Solari has been ordered to give up his $91,000-a-year job with the police department, where he has been on the force since 1999.

“Police officers must know they cannot assault defenseless individuals in their custody for no reason,” Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia said.

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