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NYC Cop Arrested For Assaulting Homeless Man In Custody

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An NYPD officer now finds himself on the other side of the law.

He was arrested Wednesday, charged with assaulting a man in custody and then making false statements about what really happened, CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported.

Officer Elijah Saladeen breezed past CBS2 cameras while leaving court. The NYPD cop is accused of flagrantly abusing his position.

Prosecutors say the 48-year-old housing cop beat up a homeless man in handcuffs and then lied about it, including on official records.

NYPD Officer Elijah Saladeen
NYPD Officer Elijah Saladeen, left, pleaded not guilty in court on Aug. 29, 2018. (Photo: CBS2)

Saladeen pleaded not guilty Wednesday to seven counts of misdemeanor assault and other charges.

The incident in question allegedly happened back in February 2017 at the Fulton Houses in Chelsea. Prosecutors say Saladeen responded to a trespasser -- a 19-year-old homeless man sleeping in a stairwell. They said the officer put him in handcuffs without a problem, but then both started struggling with each other in the elevator on the way down, spilling onto the lobby floor.

"The defendant repeatedly punched the complainant about the head and the face," prosecutor Philip Gary said.

Prosecutors say Saladeen then dragged the teen to the back of the lobby -- still in cuffs -- and continued punching him.

Saladeen's attorney, Rae Koshetz, said force was used in a difficult situation.

"My information is that this man was resisting while he was in custody," Koshetz said.

The NYPD said Saladeen was suspended without pay.

In a statement, the Manhattan district attorney said the alleged conduct weakens public trust in law enforcement. The judge set bond at $50,000.

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