Three current and former Ewing Township Police Department officers were indicted by a grand jury on civil rights charges for their roles in assaulting a minor victim during the course of an arrest, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Officials said Mr. Michael Delahanty, 51, of Robbinsville, a retired Ewing Township Police lieutenant; and Mr. Matthew Przemieniecki, 43, of Hamilton, and Mr. Justin Ubry, 33, of Burlington, both current Ewing Township police officers, are charged in a two-count indictment with deprivation of rights under color of law.
Delahanty and Przemieniecki are charged in Count One with a felony offense of deprivation of rights under color of law causing bodily injury, and Ubry is charged in Count Two with a misdemeanor offense of deprivation of rights under color of law. Delahanty, Przemieniecki, and Ubry surrendered this morning and are scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.
According to the indictment:
At approximately 8:15 a.m., on Jan. 5, 2018, more than a dozen police officers responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in Ewing Township.
Officers located the vehicle, which had crashed, and saw the driver of the vehicle running from the scene.
Shortly thereafter, officers located the driver, a minor, in a detached shed on a residential property, removed the minor from the shed, and laid him face down on the snow-covered ground.
While other officers handcuffed the victim, Delahanty used his boot to step on the back of the victim’s head, pressing his face into the snow. Przemieniecki kicked snow three times directly into the victim’s face, and Ubry also kicked snow directly into the victim’s face.
Przemieniecki then used his boot to step on the victim’s head, again driving his face into the snow. The victim did not resist law enforcement at any time while on the ground.
Under the circumstances, the force that defendants Delahanty, Przemieniecki, and Ubry applied to the victim was unreasonable and excessive and violated the victim’s constitutional right to be free from such force.
The felony civil rights charge against Delahanty and Przemieniecki carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The misdemeanor civil rights charge against Ubry carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.