Middletown police officer suspended amid probe into assault on child in restaurant

A witness says the officer was intoxicated and verbally threatened to assault the boy before he slammed the child’s face into a brick wall inside the restaurant.

News 12 Staff

May 8, 2023, 2:47 PM

Updated 383 days ago

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A Middletown police officer remains suspended after he allegedly attacked a teenage boy during a communion party while off-duty.
The fun, light-hearted event Saturday afternoon at the Olde Erie restaurant on East Main Street turned into terror when the alleged violent attack unfolded.
“My understanding is it was not a pretty scene," said Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano
DeStefano says the officer, who has 18 years on the force, assaulted a 14-year-old boy inside his wife's restaurant in Middletown during the party for another police officer’s child. He says it happened in front of dozens of frightened customers.
“It’s not something we are very proud of," said DeStefano. “I know the chief is very concerned about the actions of the officer.”
A witness tells News 12 the officer was drunk and verbally threatened to assault the boy before he slammed the child's face into a brick wall. The witness says the officer punched the teen, threw a glass and "whatever else was in reach" causing customers and staff to duck for cover.
Officials confirm that those are the allegations under investigation.
DeStefano says the officer is about 6 feet 4 inches tall and that the boy appeared to be less than 5 feet tall.
"It’s very concerning and disappointing,” said DeStefano.
News 12 is told the boy suffered minor injuries and is physically OK despite the ordeal.
The officer is suspended with pay under the rules of the department's contract until charges are filed, according to DeStefano.
So far, the officer has not been arrested.


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