A Nassau County Police officer faces charges after he allegedly beat a Westbury man during an arrest, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's office.
Vincent LoGiudice was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault after a grand jury indictment was unsealed Tuesday.
LoGiudice pleaded not guilty to the charges which, if he is found guilty, could send him to prison for seven years.
LoGiudice's actions were called into question after he and his partner, officer Basil Gomez, arrested Kyle Howell during a traffic stop.
Howell, 20, of Westbury, was reportedly pulled over by LoGiudice and Gomez on April 25 because of a cracked windshield.
“They came out of the car, I gave them my information, they opened up the door and my paycheck started to fly out the door,” he said, according to CBS New York. “I went to go reach and the next thing you know, I got a knee to the face. And then the next thing I remember, I was in the hospital.”
Meanwhile, the officers claimed they had to use force after Howell tried to eat marijuana he had in his possession, CBS reported.
Days later, video surveillance from a nearby store surfaced and reportedly captured the entire incident.
The charges Howell faced after his arrest were dismissed weeks ago.
While friends and family have rallied behind Howell to call for an investigation, police unions are standing behind LoGiudice.
"This was done without ever speaking to my police officers to find out their side of the story," James Carver, the head of the police union, said of clearing Howell's charges, reported WABC. "It's apparent that they're on a mission just to prosecute these two police officers."
"The charges the grand jury has returned represent serious allegations that will be prosecuted aggressively by my office," Nassau DA Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "Our community, the victim, the police department, and Officer LoGuidice deserve a full and impartial opportunity to seek justice in this case."
Hundreds of officers and supporters of LoGiudice gathered in the Nassau County Courthouse during Tuesday's proceedings, according to WABC.
LoGiudice is due back in court on July 2.