A Meriden police officer accused of using unreasonable force while arresting a suspect in 2010 pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on Tuesday in federal court in New Haven.
On May 1, 2010, Evan Cossette and another officer responded to a report of a hit and run, police said. Cossette was indicted by a federal grand jury last week.
He pleaded not guilty to both counts and was released on a $75,000 bond, which his parents cosigned.
Conditions of his release were set, but he will be permitted to travel to visit family in Florida and in Boston with court approval.
Outside court, Cossette’s attorney, Ray Hassett, had no comment.
When Cossette was asked what he’d like to say to the community he served, he said “Happy Thanksgiving.”
Outside court, Cossette’s attorney, Ray Hassett had no comment at this time. When Cossette was asked what he’d like to say to the community he served, he said “Happy Thanksgiving.”
Cossette is accused of shoving the handcuffed suspect in 2010, causing him to fall and hit his head on a cement bench.
When paramedics arrived, the suspect had regained consciousness and Cossette told a first responder that the man had not lost consciousness, according to the indictments.
The suspect was taken to Midstate Medical Center for treatment.
You can see video from the holding cell on the Meriden Record Journal Web site.
Cossette is accused of making false claims in the police report he filed, including that he only shoved the suspect after the main remained uncooperative, ignored commands and prompted the officer to fear a physical altercation, according to federal authorities.
Jury selection is slated for Jan. 2 but could be pushed back if the prosecution or defense asks for more time.