Judge rules case of Buffalo cop accused of harming man in custody can proceed

Mar 7, 2018

Rulings were made on several pre-trial motions Wednesday in the case of a Buffalo Police officer accused of deliberately injuring a man in Central Booking last year.

Defense attorneys tried unsuccessfully to convince Justice Russell Buscaglia to throw out the indictment against Joseph Hassett, who is charged with two counts of third-degree assault, offering a false instrument for filing, providing a false written statement and official misconduct.

Joseph Hassett, walking in the rear, is accused of deliberately tripping and causing injury to a man in his custody inside Buffalo Police Central Booking last year. Lawyers will be back in court next week to set a trial date, after a judge denied motions including one to throw out his indictment.
Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Hassett is accused of deliberately tripping a man who was in his custody last March. Prosecutors were hoping to introduce new allegations of past rough behavior into their case. Judge Buscaglia ruled prosecutors may not introduce those complaints but they may cross-examine on two incidents that have already been submitted.

The defense, meanwhile, was granted subpoenas for additional information from the Buffalo Police Department. 

Neither Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Texido nor defense attorney Timothy Hoover would comment upon leaving the courtoom. Both sides will be back before the judge on Friday, March 16 to set a trial date.