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Police officer pleads not guilty to assault charges

A Buffalo police officer pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor assault and other charges for a March incident that sent a man in police custody to the hospital, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Officer Joseph Hassett, 31, faces two counts of third-degree assault and one count each of official misconduct and second-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said Buffalo City Court Judge Joseph A. Fiorella arraigned Hassett.  Hassett’s arraignment had been scheduled for next week, but the officer asked to appear earlier. The judge released Hassett on his own recognizance. Hassett is scheduled to appear at a pre-trial conference on Sept. 12.

Hassett allegedly tripped the suspect at Central Booking, and a cut on the suspect's forehead required five stitches to close, according to a Buffalo police source.

Decorated Buffalo officer charged with assault, accused of tripping suspect

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