2008-09-26 / Top Stories

Cops Plead 'Not Guilty' In Assault Charge

By Howard Schwach

Brian McNamara, in a photo released by Nassau County officials, a week after the alleged assault. Brian McNamara, in a photo released by Nassau County officials, a week after the alleged assault. Two young New York City police officers, assigned to the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, accused of assaulting a Long Beach firefighter while they were off-duty, pleaded not guilty on Friday in Long Beach City Court and were ordered to stay away from their alleged victim.

Nassau County police sources told The Wave this week that the two officers, Douglas Rome, 25, and Jason Ragoo, 26, were arraigned on misdemeanor assault charges while dozens of Long Beach firefighters sat a few feet away in support of Brian McNamara, 32, the alleged victim of what city officials are calling "a brutal attack."

The two officers were reportedly represented by an attorney provided by their union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA). An official at the NYPD's office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information said that the two had been suspended without pay until the case against them is adjudicated.

The Long Beach judge issued an order that the two should keep away from McNamara and his family, sources say.

McNamara told Newsday reporter Matthew Chayes that the beating he suffered was a "total nightmare" that started when he confronted three men as he was leaving a Long Beach bar with his sister, Casey-Ann Lee, 22, in the early morning hours of September 13, when one of the men allegedly made an "inappropriate comment" to his sister.

"They said something that was not so nice to my sister," McNamara said. I didn't like it, and I let them know that I didn't like it. They argued back with me. The fight began and it was three of them on one."

He said that one of the men sat on his back while he was down, as the others kicked his face and head.

McNamara said that he broke free from his attackers at the corner of West Beech Street and Virginia Avenue, but that they pursued him across the street and continued to beat and kick him.

Rome, of Floral Park, and Ragoo, of Long Beach, said nothing to reporters as they left the courthouse, eyewitnesses said.

McNamara's sister yelled at the two men to stop, she told reporters, but that one of them told her to "walk away and mind your own business."

McNamara suffered eye injuries, bleeding, cuts and bruises. He was treated at the Long Beach Medical Center and released, sources say.

The two officers were released on their own recognizance and are due back in court on November 5.

Nassau County and Long Beach detectives are still searching for the third man involved in the assault, officials say.

Neither of the two police officers nor their PBA attorney was available for comment.

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