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NY cop pleads not guilty to injuring woman

Related article:
NY policeman charged after injuring woman

By Jim Fitzgerald
The Associated Press

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A New York policeman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge that he body-slammed an unarmed woman to the floor, breaking her jaw.

Yonkers Officer Wayne Simoes entered the plea to the civil rights charge in federal court.

The takedown of Irma Marquez in March 2007 was caught by a restaurant security camera. It shows her being grabbed by the waist, hoisted in the air and slammed face first into a tile floor.

The federal grand jury indictment said it amounted to assault and violated her right against unreasonable force from a police officer. If convicted, Simoes could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Simoes' attorney, Andrew Quinn, vowed to take the case to trial, saying it would probably take place next year.

"While the tape shows part of the story, what it cannot show is Officer Simoes' intent," Quinn said Wednesday. "There was no intent to injure."

Authorities said Simoes was trying to keep the 44-year-old woman from interfering with emergency medical technicians who were assisting her niece, who had been hit in the head with a bottle.

Marquez's attorney has acknowledged that she was distraught at the time but said she did nothing to interfere. A Westchester County jury acquitted her of obstruction. Weeks later, she sued the police department for $11.3 million.

Simoes is on modified duty pending the outcome of the criminal case.


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