BOSTON (CBS) – A former Transit Police officer and two sergeants pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in the alleged beating of a homeless man and subsequent cover-up of the incident.
Former officer Dorston Bartlett, 65, allegedly beat a 32-year-old homeless man several times in July 2018 at Ashmont Station. Bartlett arrested the victim and on charges of assault and battery on a police officer.
Bartlett was arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, violating a person’s civil rights, and misleading a police officer.
Sgt. David Finnerty, 43, and Sgt. Kenny Orcel, 55, were placed on leave after being accused of creating a false report about the incident. They are both charged with making a false report as a public officer or employees and as accessories after the fact to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
“People aren’t supposed to sleep on the trains and police officers on the transit have to move people off,” said Orcel’s defense attorney Doug Louison. “The homeless population in the area is difficult but the trains are not the solution. my understanding is the officer used an appropriate use of force. Police issued batons for a reason.”
Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan spoke outside of court Tuesday.
“Transit Police officers day in and day out perform fantastic acts of kindness to people who self-identify as homeless. So I don’t think this speaks to the larger issue of it if you will,” he said.
Prosecutors said there is video evidence in the case.
All three men are due back in court on April 10.