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Mass. trooper to fight beating charge in NH

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 13. 2016 7:21PM

Joseph Flynn, a Massachusetts State Police trooper, has been indicted on two assault charges in Nashua. 

NASHUA — A Massachusetts state trooper, indicted in the alleged beating of a man during a Nashua traffic stop last May that gained national attention after a news crew filmed the incident, said in a court filing that his conduct was justifiable as a matter of law.

Joseph Flynn, 32, of North Tewksbury, Mass., was indicted by a Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District, grand jury on two counts of simple assault by an on-duty law enforcement officer. The charges are enhanced misdemeanors that carry a potential prison sentence of two to five years each.

“He did not commit a criminal act,” says his defense attorney, Ronald J. Caron of Devine Millimet in Manchester.

On Tuesday, Caron filed a “Defendant’s Notice of Defense” in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District, which under the New Hampshire Rules of Criminal Procedure is required if a defendant intends to rely on any defense specified in the code.

In the court filing, Caron says as a matter of law a “law enforcement officer is justified in using non-deadly force upon another person when and to the extent he reasonably believes it necessary to effect an arrest or detention or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested or detained person, ... or to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of non-deadly force encountered while attempting to effect such an arrest or detention or while seeking to prevent such an escape.”

He says in the filing that any and all physical contact his client had with Richard Simone, 50, of Worcester, Mass., was justified under state law.

Flynn was indicted for knowingly causing unprivileged physical contact to Simone by striking him with his hand on the right side of his body above his waist.

He also is accused of hitting Simone’s back during the May 11 traffic stop following a 60-mile police chase from Holden, Mass., into Nashua.

New Hampshire Trooper Andrew Monaco was arrested in the same incident. In a negotiated plea deal, Monaco received a suspended jail term and agreed not to seek a job in law enforcement. He resigned from the state police and agreed to testify in future court proceedings related to the case, including Flynn’s.

The two troopers allegedly struck Simone, 50, of Worcester, Mass., 22 times in 20 seconds, according to court records.

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