14 Springfield Officers Charged In Connection With Violent Assault, Cover-up - NECN
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14 Springfield Officers Charged In Connection With Violent Assault, Cover-up

Two owners of Nathan Bill's Bar & Restaurant were also indicted in connection with the April 8, 2015 incident

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    NEWSLETTERS

    5 Springfield Officers Charged With Assault After Brawl

    Five Springfield, Massachusetts police officers are facing criminal charges for allegedly assaulting and badly beating four people following an altercation at a bar four years ago.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019)

    Thirteen Springfield, Massachusetts police officers and one former officer have been indicted in connection with the alleged assault and beating of four civilians following an argument at a bar in 2015 and the ensuing attempt to cover up the incident.

    The grand jury indictments were announced Wednesday by Attorney General Maura Healey's office and FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

    According to the attorney general's office, five officers were off-duty when they physically assaulted four people after a confrontation at Nathan Bill's Bar & Restaurant on April 8, 2015. The victims were allegedly beaten and kicked and one or more of the defendants used weapons during the attack. The type of weapon was not released.

    The victims sustained serious injuries, some of them permanent. Prosecutors have said that one of the victims lost teeth in the attack and suffered a broken leg and ligament damage to his ankle.

    Daniel Billingsley, 30, of Springfield; Anthony Cicero, 29, of Hampden; Christian Cicero, 28, of Longmeadow; Igor Basovskiy, 33, Springfield; and Jameson Williams, 33, of East Longmeadow; are all charged with four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault and battery, one count of assault and battery - serious bodily injury and one count of conspiracy.

    After collecting statements from victims and witnesses and obtaining phone records and video evidence, nine other officers and two of the bar owners are also facing charges for participating in the incident:

     

    • Bar owner John Sullivan, 34, of Springfield, charged with misleading a federal agent/investigator
    • Bar owner Joseph Sullivan, 42, of Hampden, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/federal agent/investigator/grand jury
    • Springfield Police Officer Jose Diaz, charged with misleading a police officer/investigator
    • Springfield Police Officer Darren Nguyen, age 40, of Holland, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator, filing a false police report
    • Springfield Police Officer Shavonne Lewis, age 29, of Springfield, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator, filing a false police report
    • Springfield Police Sergeant Louis Bortolussi, age 57, of East Longmeadow, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator, filing a false police report
    • Springfield Police Officer Derrick Gentry-Mitchell, age 29, of Springfield, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator/grand jury, filing a false police report
    • Springfield Police Officer James D’Amour, age 42, of Hampden, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator, filing a false police report
    • Springfield Police Officer John Wajdula, age 34, of Springfield, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator/federal agent, filing a false police report
    • Former Springfield Police Officer Nathaniel Perez, age 27, of West Springfield, charged with perjury, misleading a police officer/investigator, filing a false police report
    • Springfield Police Officer Melissa Rodriguez, age 32, of Springfield, charged with perjury

     

    Each defendant is expected to be arraigned in Hampden and/or Worcester superior courts at later dates.

    Lawyers for several of the officers previously charged said their clients were innocent.

    Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he and Acting Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood would continue to "root out" bad police officers.

    "Needless to say, this is not a good day for our Springfield Police Department," Sarno said in a statement. "Police officers are held to a higher standard."

    But Sarno's office didn't respond to requests for comment on the current status of the latest officers implicated. The officers previously charged with assault and battery had been placed on paid administrative leave.

    Last year, Springfield agreed to pay $885,000 to settle federal civil rights lawsuits brought by the victims in the attack.

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