NEW YORK — A former NYPD officer charged with assaulting a teenager and then falsifying statements about the incidents was found guilty Thursday according to officials.
Elijah Saladeen, 49, was convicted of beating and dragging a 19-year-old homeless man and lying about it to his superiors, to prosecutors and in documents.
Officials said Saladeen responded to reports of a trespasser in a West 17th Street New York City Housing Authority building on Feb. 24, 2017, officials said. He found the homeless man sleeping on a stairwell and handcuffed the teen. He was charged in August 2018.
Saladeen and the victim struggled with each other in an elevator on the way to the building lobby, police said. They both fell to the floor and Saladeen allegedly repeatedly punched the homeless man in the face, injuring him badly enough that he needed stitches.
While the pair, along with other officers, waited for an ambulance, Saladeen allegedly dragged the homeless man — still in handcuffs — to the back of the lobby where he punched the man in the ribs and side.
Then Saladeen allegedly lied to his superior officers about what happened, prosecutors said. He said the injuries were self-inflicted. The officer was caught when video surveillance footage and eyewitnesses contradicted his report.
“This 19-year veteran of the NYPD assaulted a young man, and then lied about it,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “His criminal misconduct caused extensive injuries to his victim and damage to all in law enforcement who are working to strengthen our relationships with the communities we are sworn to protect. I would like to thank my office’s Public Corruption Unit for ensuring a just outcome in this case, and for the work they do every day to restore the public trust.”