A Fall River, Massachusetts, police officer was arrested Wednesday for allegedly assaulting a man who was in police custody with a baton two years ago and then lying about it.
Nicholas M. Hoar, 35, was indicted for a civil rights violation and for making false reports, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. They said he was arrested Wednesday morning and is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston at 1:45 p.m.
According to the indictment, on Dec. 21, 2020, while working as an officer with the Fall River Police Department, Hoar struck a man who had been arrested in the forehead with a police baton, resulting in bodily injury. The indictment also alleges that on that day and the following day, Hoar submitted two reports which omitted any mention of the fact that he had struck the man with the baton.
The charges carry penalties of up to 50 years in prison and upwards of $750,000 in fines.
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According to the Herald News, the man who was assaulted was in custody for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. In his police report, Hoar had said the man kicked him during a physical altercation. He said while he was being kicked he pushed the man away to create distance and noticed afteward that he was "bleeding from his forehead after striking the wall." A booking photograph taken at the time showed the man with a visible laceration on his head.
The man later sued Fall River police and reached a $65,000 settlement with the city.
Hoar had previously been named in another civil lawsuit for the shooting death of a 19-year-old man in 2017, the Herald News reported.