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Former NH trooper testifies in Mass. trooper's assault trial

Union Leader Correspondent

October 06. 2017 11:14PM
Then- New Hampshire Trooper Andrew Monaco and Massachusetts Trooper Joseph Flynn (who is currently on paid leave) were accused of beating Richard Simone in Nashua following a lengthy car chase on May 11, 2016. Monaco has pleaded guilty in the beating, and testified Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at Flynn's trial in Nashua. 

NASHUA — A former New Hampshire state trooper testified on Friday that he was angry and wanted to punish Richard Simone when he began throwing punches at the man after he was already kneeling on the ground surrendering.

Andrew Monaco took the stand at Hillsborough County Superior Court during Joseph Flynn’s trial. Flynn is a Massachusetts state trooper also accused of beating Simone in Nashua following a lengthy car chase on May 11, 2016.

Monaco has already pleaded guilty and received a deferred jail term and agreed to never seek a job in law enforcement under a negotiated plea deal; as part of that deal, he agreed to testify at Flynn’s trial.

“I thought he was a bad individual. I was mad at him for hitting my cruiser,” Monaco said of Simone, a convicted felon. Although Monaco saw Simone on his knees, Monaco said Simone was not lying down on his stomach, and his hands were underneath his body.

Although he did not see any weapon, Monaco said he approached Simone and took a swing at him.

“I don’t remember that initial haymaker that I threw at him,” said Monaco. “ … I went to the right side and started punching him in the head.”

After punching him a few times, Monaco said he kneed Simone at the end of the attack, adding his hands were bloody from scraping the pavement during his punches.

“It is not something that I am proud of, but I took a chance … I knew it was not good and I was not in a good situation. It did not take long for this to sink it,” said Monaco, acknowledging that he was too emotional about the situation and that he was going to have a tough road ahead because of his actions.

Flynn, 32, of North Tewksbury, Mass., is facing two enhanced misdemeanor charges of simple assault by an on duty police officer for also punching Simone during the police stop. Flynn is currently on paid leave with the Massachusetts State Police, and is facing a possible prison sentence of two to five years for each offense.

Monaco testified that he was unaware of Flynn’s presence during the assault. Monaco attributed the situation to ‘tunnel vision,’ saying he was only focused on Simone’s actions and trying to get him into custody.

“The goal in that situation is to put him in handcuffs and make sure he doesn’t have any weapons for anything,” said Monaco, adding he never saw any weapons and never witnessed Simone make any threatening moves.

Although there was an aerial photograph taken from a news helicopter of Monaco touching Flynn’s arm as the two of them approached Simone prior to his arrest, Monaco said he does not recall that encounter.

After the incident, Monaco said Flynn attempted to show him a videofeed of the arrest that was caught on video camera and posted online, however the link would not open.

While Monaco knew that he was not the only trooper arrested in connection with the assaults, he said he was unaware of Flynn’s involvement until after his booking at the Nashua Police Department.

Flynn’s trial will resume Tuesday at the Nashua court.

Massachusetts State Trooper Joseph Flynn, left, and then- New Hampshire State Trooper Andrew Monaco were charged with assaulting a Massachusetts man who led police on a dangerous, hour-long interstate chase May 11, 2016. Monaco has pleaded guilty, and testified Friday at Flynn's trial.

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