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Sources: Indictment alleges excessive force by cop

A Rockville Centre police officer is expected to be arraigned Wednesday on a criminal indictment alleging he used excessive force after he responded to a fight outside a bar last year, sources with knowledge of the case said.

Officer Anthony Federico is scheduled to surrender to Nassau prosecutors Wednesday before a criminal indictment will be unsealed in County Court, his lawyer has confirmed.

The indictment against Federico, 36, is connected to an arrest he made in May, defense attorney William Petrillo also said. The allegation stems from an incident in the early morning of May 8 on Park Avenue in Rockville Centre and involves Federico’s use of a Taser on a college-age male, according to sources familiar with the investigation. They also said evidence includes a bystander’s cell phone video.

A spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas declined to comment Tuesday.

Petrillo called it “shocking that the district attorney would seek an indictment against this officer,” but added Tuesday that he would “wait until tomorrow to read the allegations and address the specifics.”

The Garden City attorney added: “We know the investigation pertains to an arrest he made in May while Officer Federico was alone, surrounded by a crowd and being attacked by two individuals, causing him to use reasonable and necessary force to defend himself and effect a lawful arrest.”

Rockville Centre Police Commissioner Charles A. Gennario issued a statement Tuesday that was supportive of Federico.

“Based on the evidence I’ve seen, I believe police Officer Federico was defending himself against an assault by two individuals while he was attempting to make an arrest,” he said.

The commissioner also added: “But at this time, it would be inappropriate to comment any further on pending criminal matters.”

A village spokeswoman said officials couldn’t comment because it involved “a pending criminal matter.”

Union officials from the Rockville Centre and Nassau County Police Benevolent Associations announced Tuesday that officers from around the area planned to rally outside Nassau County Court to support Federico Wednesday.

Union officials said in a statement that the event happened while the veteran officer was patrolling alone and “came upon a disturbance on the street between people outside a bar.”

The statement said that while surrounded by a crowd, and with two people striking him, Federico had to use “reasonable force” to defend himself and make an arrest.


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