A New Jersey cop seen on video last month slapping a man dressed in a bunny costume for blowing an air horn inside police headquarters was charged with assault last week.
Sussex County prosecutors charged Hopatcong police officer Nicholas J. Maresca, Jr., 44, with simple assault on December 2, two weeks after he was caught on video slapping Kevin Hemmerich, 27, inside the Hopatcong police station on November 17.
Maresca was upset at Hemmerich who decided to make the most of a bad situation and have some fun while checking himself into jail for a short stay, so he donned a full-body bunny costume and walked into police headquarters blasting an air horn before serving his sentence after failing to complete the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program as punishment for crashing his car without insurance.
Kevin’s brother, Jason, egged on his brother as he recorded video.
“This isn’t as fun as I thought it would be,” Kevin tells his brother Jason.
“More fun when the cops come, I guess,” Jason, who recorded the assault, responds
A dispatcher sitting behind glass windows at the jail asks Hemmerich to stop blowing his horn.
Hemmerich responds by blowing the horn.
A few minutes later Maresca and a fellow cop Chris Lottito enter the station.
“Who’s blowing the fucking air horn?” Maresca asks loudly.
Hemmerich admits he was blowing the air horn, but tells Maresca he doesn’t know why he’s doing it.
“You don’t know?” Maresca demands before slapping Hemmerich with an opened, gloved hand.
“You don’t fucking know?”
Jason Hemmerich then chimes in to defend his brother and informs the cop he’s being recorded.
“I don’t fucking care,” replies Maresca before walking away with Himmerich.
Hemmerich luckily didn’t suffer any serious injuries from the attack
Maresca’s defense attorney, Anthony Iacullo said his client “acted appropriately and in accordance with his training and experience.”
“We are confident that Officer Maresca will be vindicated of the one charge against him when this case is addressed in a court of law,” Iacullo added.