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Former Police Officer Indicted for Paterson Aggravated Assault, Tampering With Evidence


By: Yuritza Arroyo

Passaic County authorities announce the Indictment of former Paterson Police Officer Spencer Finch, 46, of Mahwah.

According to Paterson officials, a Passaic County Grand Jury has returned an Indictment charging the defendant with one count of second-degree Official Misconduct, one count of second degree Aggravated Assault, and one count of third-degree Tampering With Public Records or Information.

Paterson Police say it is alleged that on December 22, 2018, Finch, then an officer, responded to an incident at the Quick’s Food Store in Paterson.

Police detained the victim outside the store while the incident was being investigated.

According to Finch’s offense report narrative and Use of Force Report, the victim became belligerent with police and shouted profanities.

The offense report stated when Finch attempted to place the victim under arrest for Robbery, the victim punched the defendant in the chest.

Finch tackled the victim to the ground, resulting in the victim’s face striking the sidewalk.

According to officials, when Finch stood the victim up again, the victim pushed off a wall and tried to strike the defendant again.

Officials say Finch struck the victim in the head with a flashlight. The victim suffered a broken nose, an avulsion of two teeth, a partial avulsion of a third tooth, and lacerations to the lip and scalp.  

The Grand Jury reviewed and considered evidence obtained during the investigation. Following that presentation, the Grand Jury determined that Finch’s actions were unjustified and the defendant should be charged with criminal offenses. According to authorities, an Arraignment on the Indictment will be scheduled by the Passaic County Superior Court Criminal Division. Authorities say following Finch’s arrest on this direct Indictment, the State filed a motion for pre-trial detention.

The Passaic County Superior Court Criminal Division will schedule a hearing on that motion.

Official Misconduct and Aggravated Assault each carry a maximum term of ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison. Tampering with Public Records or Information carries a maximum term of five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison. Finch was previously Indicted and charged with Official Misconduct, second-degree Aggravated Assault, Tampering With Public Records or Information, third-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and third-degree Perjury.

Those charges stemmed from a separate incident on May 26, 2021. That Indictment is scheduled for a Pretrial Conference on February 16.