Former Utica Cop Sentenced for Using Excessive Force
According to a press release from the United State's Attorney's Office Northern District of New York, Matthew Felitto, a former police officer with the Utica Police Department, has been sentenced following a guilty pleading for using excessive force.
In his guilty plea, Felitto admitted that in September 2020, he kicked a man who had been arrested by other officers several times in the face and upper chest while wearing his work boots. The man was already in handcuffs and leg shackles when Felitto arrived on the scene to transport him back to the station. The man who was arrested was placed in handcuffs behind his back as well as leg shackles because he was uncooperative with the police officers who were on the scene before Felitto arrived.
While the man was lying on the floor of the police van, Felitto began to kick him. The press release did not indicate what caused the violent encounter, or why the man had been arrested in the first place.
According to the press release, "The kicks were without legal justification and were made with sufficient force to cause the arrestee pain and a bruised and swollen lip."
As part of the plea, Felitto resigned from the Utica Police Department. He was sentenced in federal court to two years of probation, a fine of $7,500 and will be required to perform 100 hours of community service during his two years of probation. Additionally, Felitto will be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.