NJ Police Officer Indicted in Assault Case

Monday, Sep 28, 2009  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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Officials in <a title=Passaic, N.J., are investigating whether the officer in this video used unnecessary force in the handling of 49-year-old Ronnie Holloway, who relatives say is mentally disabled." />

NBC New York

Officials in Passaic, N.J., are investigating whether the officer in this video used unnecessary force in the handling of 49-year-old Ronnie Holloway, who relatives say is mentally disabled.

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A New Jersey police officer caught on tape brutally beating a schizophrenic man with his baton, has been indicted on misconduct and assault charges.

Officials in Passaic County announced the charges today.

Joseph Rios III, of the Passaic police force, was captured on surveillance tape last May throwing 49-year-old Ronnie Holloway to the sidewalk, striking him several times on the back and sides with his nightstick while Rios' partner paces around nearby.

Holloway was arrested after the incident and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and wandering with the intent to purchase drugs.  He maintains that he was on a routine walk in Passaic when he was suddenly approached by Rios and another officer in a police cruiser.

The victim said he was zipping up his sweatshirt, as he was told by the other officer, when Rios launched the attack.

Rios' attorney, Anthony Iacullo said Monday that his client denies any wrongdoing and expects to be vindicated once evidence is presented to a jury.

Community activists have called the incident police brutality and had urged the Passaic Police Department to take action against Rios.

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