A New York cop who was already collecting a pension when he was caught on camera last year assaulting a man for attempting to file a complaint against him has been indicted on felony charges.
Brewster police officer Fernando Quinones is facing up to four years in prison after a grand jury indicted him earlier this month on several felony charges related to the alleged coverup of the incident, according to The Journal News.
Quinones was not charged for the actual assault in which he grabbed the man by the neck after confronting him in the parking lot of the Brewster Police Department. The 58-year-old cop has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Quinones retired from the Yonkers Police Department in 2012 after a 23-year career and is now collecting a $114,00-a-year pension, according to The Journal News. He was hired by Brewster police in 2016 as a part-time cop.
The incident took place on October 28, 2021 after Quinones pulled over Alexander King and issued him a ticket for speaking on his phone while driving. At one point during their interaction, Quinones threatened to “bash” his face, according to King.
King then drove to the police station to file a complaint when Quinones confronted him in the parking lot.
“I’d watch what you do, I’m going in to see your supervisor,” King warned the cop, according to the short video he recorded which is posted below.
“Are you?” the cop responded.
“Yeah, Yeah I am,” King said.
“Go ahead. Go ahead. Because if you ….”
“I’m going in because you said you were going to bash my face,” King said.
Quinones responded by grabbing him by the neck and forcing him to the ground. The video then ends.
Quinones later claimed that he was in fear for his safety because King approached him with clenched fists, the Journal News reported. He also claimed that he had grabbed King by the shirt, not the neck.
Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo told local media that it appeared Quinones grabbed King by the shoulder, not the neck, and did not discipline him. New York State Police also found no wrongdoing after investigating the incident.
Putman County District Attorney Robert Tendy brought the case before a grand jury who indicted on three felony counts each of first-degree falsifying business records, offering a false instrument and making an apparently false statement as well as one count of misdemeanor official misconduct.
King had been charged with attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct but those charges were dismissed last month which was when King filed a lawsuit against Quinones and the Village of Brewster.
Brewster Mayor James Schoenig told local media the traffic stop that led to the confrontation was captured on body camera video and shows King refusing to comply with police commands but the village has refused to release the video to local media.
The mayor and police chief also said Quinones did not have his body camera turned on when he arrested King in the parking lot of the police department.
Quinones who was released from jail with no bond is due back in court on November 22. He is the second Brewster cop to be arrested this year.
In April, Brewster police officer Wayne Peiffer pleaded guilty in federal court for accepting sexual favors in exchange for protecting a sex ring that brought teenage prostitutes into Brewster. The prostitutes had been smuggled into the country from Mexico, according to the New York Post.