OCEAN BEACH BEAT COPS APPROACHING ONE YEAR SINCE INDICTMENT AND ARREST
We thought it would be appropriate to reprint the Suffolk County District Attorney's Press Release from about a year ago:
Ocean Beach Chief and three cops arraigned on 18-count indictment
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota today announced the arrest, indictment and arraignment of four Ocean Beach village police officers, including the acting Chief of Police, on charges related to the stationhouse beating of a New York City man in August of 2005.
The acting Chief of Police, George Hesse, 38, faces the most serious charges in the indictment; one count of first-degree assault and one count of first-degree gang assault, each charge a "B" violent felony punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
"The indictment alleges Mr. Hesse with beating the victim, Samuel Gilberd, and causing serious physical injury," DA Spota said. "The charges of offering a false instrument, hindering prosecution, issuing a false certificate, falsifying business records, and conspiracy, are for the scheme Hesse and police officers Carollo, and Hardman implemented to change, or in some instances create an official record of the August 28, 2005 beating of Mr. Gilberd," the district attorney explained.
The indictment charges Hesse severely beat Samuel Gilberd, 32, when Gilberd was in the stationhouse around 3:30 am on the morning of August 28, 2005. Gilberd had been questioned by police about throwing a beer glass from a local bar into the street. As he was walking out of the station with a summons for littering, the victim, who has admitted he was intoxicated at the time, kicked the door of the police station.
"It was at the point," DA Spota said, "that Mr. Gilberd was forcefully taken to a room by police and beaten. Sergeant Hesse stomped on Gilberd's mid-section as the victim laid unconscious on the stationhouse floor, a forceful blow that caused a three centimeter tear that ruptured Mr. Gilberd's bladder," Spota explained.
Gilberd sustained cuts and bruises during the brutal beating but the bladder, leaking urine into his body cavity, was the injury that put his life in danger. The victim was hospitalized for ten days after emergency surgery at St Vincent's hospital.
A week after the beating, police filed disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges against Gilberd. The district attorney's office dropped the charges October 4, 2006.
District Attorney Spota said the department has attempted "to stonewall our investigation from the outset", and that police officers lied to DA detectives during the probe. The investigation centers on alleged criminal conduct going back as far as the mid 1990's, the district attorney said, adding that "today's arraignments are the culmination of the first phase of the investigation". The district said investigators in the government corruption bureau recently received 1,200 pages of records subpoenaed from Ocean Beach Village and police department files.
When asked to describe the situation in recent years in Ocean Beach, the district attorney, citing the village's history of settling lawsuits filed against members of its police department "quietly and confidentially", called on the village board to look closely at the reported incidents of police brutality. "Sticking your head in the sand is not a proper response, Spota said.
"Someone on the village board should have said somewhere along the line 'Something is wrong here…let's take a look at it." "The assaults against village visitors were settled out of court, but that doesn't relieve the village government's responsibility to be a watchdog of its police department," Spota said.
Judge Barbara Kahn set cash bail at $100,000 for Hesse, and $10,000 bail or bond for the other three defendants.