RI police officer charged with assault after video allegedly shows him kicking cuffed woman

By Eric Tucker, AP
Friday, December 18, 2009

RI officer charged with assault on cuffed woman

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island police officer was indicted Friday on charges that he kicked a handcuffed woman in the head after removing her from a slot parlor for disorderly conduct, authorities said.

Edward Krawetz, 40, has been suspended without pay from the Lincoln Police Department and also faces administrative charges, said Lincoln police Capt. Raymond Bousquet.

Krawetz was working in uniform at the Twin River gambling parlor just north of Providence on May 31 when he escorted out a woman in handcuffs after other patrons complained about her unruly behavior, said Rhode Island State Police spokesman Capt. David Neill.

A video of the incident shows Krawetz kicking the woman in the side of the head after she apparently tried to kick him, said Michael Healey, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

Healey said the alleged assault occurred as the woman was cuffed with her hands behind her back waiting on a curb for a patrol car to take her to the police station for booking.

The woman, whose name has not been released, later pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and has no memory of what happened that night, Healey said.

A Providence County grand jury indictment handed up Friday charges Krawetz with assault with a dangerous weapon.

A telephone listing for Krawetz could not immediately be found and it was not immediately known if he has an attorney. Gary Gentile, a Rhode Island lawyer for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, declined to comment Friday on the allegations or about whether he would be representing Krawetz.

Krawetz, who has been a Lincoln police officer for 12 1/2 years, is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 6 in Providence Superior Court.

A Twin River spokeswoman referred all questions to the police department.

Krawetz is the second Rhode Island officer to be charged in an alleged beating in the past two weeks.

A Woonsocket police officer was indicted last week on civil rights abuses for allegedly beating a 16-year-old boy and urging fellow officers to lie about it to the FBI. The FBI is investigating a separate alleged beating of a suspect by Providence police officers in October.

It’s not the first time Krawetz has faced allegations of excessive force. He was accused of striking a teenage boy and damaging his two front teeth during an on-duty scuffle in 2001. The boy’s lawyer, S. Joshua Macktaz, said they reached a settlement out of court for an undisclosed sum.

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