Posted by Christopher Sheldon
Little Silver Police Officer Steven Solari has been found guilty by a Monmouth County jury on four counts of official misconduct, hindering the apprehension of oneself and assault.
The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred in 2009 when Solari was arresting a man during a welfare check and later assaulted him while he was handcuffed.
Solari is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge
Vernoia on Jan. 17, 2014, when he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years
in prison, with a mandatory five-year period of parole ineligibility on
each of the four official misconduct counts; five years on the hindering
apprehension count; and six months on the Assault count.
Evidence presented during the trial showed that the man Solari arrested suffered
a head injury, severe bleeding, and eye irritation after being sprayed
by Solari with OC Spray (Oleoresin Capsicum spray, commonly referred to
as “pepper spray”).
An ambulance on scene was ready to transport the victim to a nearby hospital but, in violation of departmental procedure, Solari transported the victim to police headquarters for processing. During processing, Solari attempted to take booking photographs of the victim, but the victim did not cooperate during the taking of a side-profile photograph.
Solari responded by punching the handcuffed victim multiple times in the head, knocking him into a metal filing cabinet where the victim struck his head. The injured man was eventually transported to Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, where he was treated and released the following day.
Solari submitted a police report with several false statements a few days after the incident occurred and tried to get first aid responders to back him up.