Five Springfield, Massachusetts police officers are facing criminal charges for allegedly assaulting and badly beating four civilians following an argument at a bar four years ago.
Daniel Billingsley, 30, of Springfield; Anthony Cicero, 29, of Hampden; Christian Cicero, 28, of Longmeadow; Igor Basovskiy, 33, Springfield; and Jameson Williams, 33, of East Longmeadow are all charged with four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault and battery, one count of assault and battery - serious bodily injury and one count of conspiracy.
All five officers were arraigned Wednesday in Springfield District Court, where they pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance, with the conditions that they stay away from the victims and turn over any personal weapons to state police. They are scheduled to return to court on March 15.
According to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, the five officers were off-duty when they physically assaulted four people after a confrontation at Nathan Bill's Bar & Restaurant in Springfield on April 8, 2015. The victims were allegedly beaten and kicked and one or more of the defendants used weapons during the attack. The type of weapon was not released.
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The victims sustained serious injuries, some of them permanent. Prosecutors have said that one of the victims lost teeth in the attack and suffered a broken leg and ligament damage to his ankle.
According to MassLive.com, the victims told investigators they were having drinks at Nathan Bill's when the officers started an argument. One of the victims said he was whistling at a bartender for a drink, but one of the officers accused him of whistling at his girlfriend. They were later assaulted outside the bar.
Investigators said statements from victims and witnesses, phone records and video evidence all led to the identification of the defendants.
A sixth Springfield police officer, 54-year-old Jose Diaz, was previously charged in connection with the 2015 assault. He was arraigned in November on the same charges the other officers are facing. He entered a not guilty plea and was released on personal recognizance. He is due back in court on May 2.
The investigation is ongoing, and is being conducted by the attorney general's office with assistance from the FBI Boston Division.
MassLive.com said the fight has already cost the city of Springfield nearly $900,000 in legal settlements.