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NYC cop indicted in vicious street beatdown of homeless man

An NYPD cop has been indicted over the vicious caught-on-camera beating of a drunken man in Greenwich Village two years ago, Manhattan prosecutors said Wednesday.

Officer Juan Perez, 42, was charged with assault in the third degree for allegedly pummeling the man after spotting him acting erratically and gripping a bottle of alcohol near Bleecker and Sullivan Streets on Nov. 10, 2021.

Disturbing footage posted on Twitter at the time shows Perez repeatedly punching the man as he lay on the ground, knocking him unconscious.

“Holy s–t, he’s out!” a man yells out after the knockout, while a dozen onlookers gawk, according to the video. 

“He’s not moving!” another witness screams as Perez looks at the hand he used to pummel the victim.

Perez, then an officer in the NYPD’s 6th Precinct, and his partner had encountered the man who was “acting erratically” and “holding a large bottle of liquor over his head” and who claimed two other people were harassing him, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Karl Mulloney-Radke said in court Wednesday.

The cop told the man to sit on a chair on the sidewalk and grabbed the bottle from his hand, before calling an ambulance because he believed the man, who kept trying to stand up, was intoxicated, the prosecutors said.



NYPD Officer Juan Perez was indicted for the beating of a man in Greenwich Village two years ago.
Photo by Steven Hirsch

Eventually, Perez allegedly shoved the victim against a wall and tried to cuff him — before both men fell to the pavement and began to grapple with each other, the Manhattan DA’s office said.

“Perez then proceeded to rapidly punch the victim six times in the face, who was lying on the ground defenseless,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The beating sent the unconscious victim to the hospital with a broken nose and significant swelling, the DA’s office said.

“As we allege, the defendant’s assault caused the victim to suffer substantial pain. Police officers are often put in challenging situations, but they must use their training appropriately and treat the residents of New York City with respect,” DA Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

At Perez’s arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court, Mulloney-Radke alleged Perez had never told the man why he was being cuffed.

“He repeatedly asked the defendant, ‘What is happening?’ And told the defendant he was arresting the wrong person,” the ADA said, adding the encounter was captured on body-camera video.


Video was taken of Perez repeatedly punching the drunken man on on Nov. 10, 2021.
Video was taken of Perez repeatedly punching the drunken man on on Nov. 10, 2021.
Instagram/@Imposter_Edits

The man was sent to the hospital with a broken nose and significant swelling.
The man was sent to the hospital with a broken nose and significant swelling.
Instagram/@Imposter_Edits

Perez, wearing a blue jacket, black pants and brown shoes, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released without bail pending an Aug. 2 court appearance.

His attorney, James Kildiff, said he denied the allegations and had no additional comment following the hearing.

The victim was identified as homeless man Borim Husenaj by City Limits, which first reported the altercation.

He as charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, the outlet reported at the time.

It wasn’t clear Wednesday how his case was adjudicated.


Perez pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released without bail.
Perez pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released without bail.
Photo by Steven Hirsch

Perez, who joined the NYPD in 2006, was transferred to the department’s Fleet Services Division from the 6th Precinct on May 18, according to public records.

He has been the subject of nine Civilian Complaint Review Board complaints, none of which has led to discipline, the agency’s online database shows.

One of the cases, which involves allegations of unnecessary force, is closed, pending litigation. 

Perez was docked 25 days by the NYPD for threatening to injure a known criminal while off-duty in 2014, according to NYPD records. He was also forced to attend counseling and placed on one-year dismissal probation.

The NYPD didn’t return a request for comment about the status of his employment Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy