MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Nassau County police officer accused of beating a Westbury man during a traffic stop appeared in court Tuesday.
Officer Vincent LoGiudice, 34, is charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault in connection with the April 25 encounter involving Kyle Howell, 20. LoGiudice pleaded not guilty to the charges last month.
Howell had claimed he was beaten with fists, flashlights and feet during the incident, which was caught on nearby surveillance video. Police have said Howell initiated the violence by kicking at LoGiudice and another officer when they allegedly tried to stop him from eating marijuana he had in his possession.
Howell, who suffered facial fractures in the incident, denies that claim and said the beating was unprovoked.
LoGiudiuce came to court Tuesday with his attorney, William Petrillo, who told the judge that Howell didn’t tell the truth about the traffic stop that led to his client’s arrest, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
“He has admitted not telling the truth,” Petrillo said. “The complaining witness claimed to have been reaching out for a paycheck that blew away, but then admitted that none of that was true that in fact he admitted that what he was doing was reaching to try to discard the bag of marijuana that was in the car.”
Howell’s father, Donovan Howell, said it was the officer who lied, not his son.
“When you see the video you’ll make your own determination,” he said.
“The Nassau County District Attorney’s office said the allegations that the cops made were not correct,” Howell’s attorney Amy Marion said. “The Nassau County District Attorney’s office dismissed all of the charges against Kyle Howell.”
“We remember that Kyle Howell is the victim,” said attorney Fred Brewington.
LoGiudiuce, a seven-year veteran of the force, said nothing as he walked out of the courthouse surrounded by about two dozen members of the Police Benevolent Association, while the National Action Network joined Howell outside the courthouse to denounce the officer, chanting “no justice, no peace.”
The officer faces a maximum of seven years in prison. He is back at work on modified duty.
Howell was initially charged with assaulting two police officers, witness tampering and several other charges, but those charges were dropped in May after a judge reviewed the video.
Howell had said he plans to sue, claiming he was targeted and harassed. Attorneys said he is slowly recovering after having surgery to repair an injured eye.
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