Here is today’s press release from the Queens District Attorney announcing the indictment of two New York Police Department detectives on charges they beat Queens CCA letter carrier Karim Baker. For more details on the case, see the story in today’s Daily News.
Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, today announced that two New York City Police Department detectives have been indicted by a Queens County grand jury on charges of assaulting a uniformed U.S. Postal employee who had just finished his shift in October 2015 and that one of the officers perjured himself when filing a sworn criminal complaint with the court.
The District Attorney identified the defendants as Detective Angelo J. Pampena, 31, who has been a NYPD officer for nine years, and Detective Robert A. Carbone, 29, who has been a NYPD officer for eight years.
The officers, who were previously assigned the NYPD’s Patrol Boro Queens North Gang Unit, are presently awaiting arraignment before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron on a fivecount indictment. Detective Pampena is charged with second- and third-degree assault, second-degree perjury, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and official misconduct. Detective Carbone is charged with second- and third-degree assault. If convicted, both defendants face up to seven years in prison.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Detectives Pampena and Carbone approached the victim, U.S. Postal employee Karim Baker, then 26, who was still in uniform, on the evening of October 21, 2015, after he had just entered his parked personal vehicle in Corona, Queens. While Mr. Baker was seated in his vehicle, it is alleged that the two detectives punched and kicked him multiple times about his face and body and that they then dragged Mr. Baker from the vehicle and onto the sidewalk. It is alleged that the actions of the two detectives caused Mr. Baker to suffer serious physical injuries.
According to the charges, Detective Pampena filed a sworn criminal court complaint with the Criminal Court of Queens County alleging that Mr. Baker was parked directly in front of a fire hydrant.
Video evidence, however, allegedly showed that the vehicle was parked more than fifteen feet from the hydrant.
The criminal case against Mr. Baker resulted in a pre-trial dismissal and the sealing of the file.
The investigation was conducted by Sergeant Scott Reiser of the Internal Affairs Bureau Group 54 of the New York City Police Department under the supervision of Deputy Inspector Charles Barton and under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Joseph P. Reznick.
Assistant District Attorney Theresa E. Smith, of the District Attorney’s Integrity Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys James M. Liander, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
It should be noted that an indictment is merely an accusation and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty