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NYPD Officer Salvatore Provenzano arraigned for 2021 assault caught on body camera at Manhattan Apple store

NYPD officer arraigned on assault for 2021 Apple store incident
NYPD officer arraigned on assault for 2021 Apple store incident 01:57

NEW YORK -- NYPD Officer Salvatore Provenzano was arraigned on an assault charge Wednesday after prosecutors say he was seen on body camera video hitting a man in the face at an Apple store in Manhattan. 

CBS New York's Natalie Duddridge was at Manhattan Criminal Court for his appearance. Members of the NYPD packed the courtroom, including the president of the Police Benevolent Association, who said he was outraged and that the officer was just trying to do his job. 

Provenzano has been an officer since 2007. Prosecutors say on Oct. 19, 2021, he responded to a call at the Apple store at 1891 Broadway for a person who was disturbing customers. He tried to assist other officers in removing the man from the store, but he got loose from his grasp. 

On body-camera video which has not yet been released, the court heard the officer strike the man in the face one time.

The case was presented to a grand jury, and Provenzano was charged with assault in the third degree. The district attorney's office noted the officer has no history of this type of conduct and offered him a plea for harassment in the second degree. His defense attorney declined, so there will be a trial. 

The attorney said Provenzano was simply defending himself and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is not allowing the NYPD to do effective policing. 

"All this officer did was attempt to escort him out of the location. As he puts his hand on his elbow to have him leave, he immediately flings his arm back, tenses his body. And this officer reasonably thought he was going to be struck, and he hits him one time, and he goes down with no injury at all," said attorney Stuart London.

The Manhattan DA's office shared a statement with CBS New York, saying, "We work in close partnership with the NYPD every day to achieve the shared goal of lasting public safety. Those sworn to uphold the law must be held accountable."

Provenzano was suspended without pay, according to police. His next court appearance is in October.

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