Newark police officer acquitted in 2010 attack on teen that was caught on tape

By Thomas Zambito/The Star-Ledger
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on November 21, 2013

Angel Pared, shown here at his 2012 trial, was acquitted of charges stemming from an assault on a 15-year-old boy in 2010.


NEWARK — An Essex County judge today cleared a Newark police officer of charges he assaulted a 15-year-old boy he mistakenly believed had a gun – an attack captured on a surveillance camera.

Superior Court Judge Alfonse Cifelli acquitted Angel Pared of simple assault and tampering with evidence – charges that would have likely led to a probationary sentence and gotten him kicked off the Newark Police Department.

Essex County prosecutors decided to re-try Pared, 31, after a jury last year acquitted him of an aggravated assault charge but deadlocked on lesser charges of official misconduct and falsifying public records.

Travis Rattray claimed Pared struck him during a March 24, 2010, confrontation while Pared was working as a plainclothes detective. Rattray testified at the first trial that someone had handed him earbud headphones, not drugs.

Pared’s attorney, Anthony Fusco, attacked the teenager’s credibility during his questioning this week.

“His testimony was horrible,” Fusco said. “It was an incredible performance.”

Prosecutors claimed that in his arrest report, Pared wrote that Rattray swung at him first – an account that didn’t gibe with the footage from a Spruce Street surveillance camera.

Pared, a five-year veteran, testified last year that he’d made a mistake in the report and that he believed Rattray was reaching for a gun. Rattray did not have a gun.

However, at last year's trial, jurors were told Rattray was later charged with armed robbery in a separate incident.

Newark police officers were grateful the verdict came out in Pared's favor.

"Angel Pared has been looking forward to this day for almost 4 years," said James Stewart, president of the Newark Fraternal Order of Police. "Finally being able to take a breath without the prospect of jail and losing your career hanging over his head is a great relief for him and his family. He is a young, enthusiastic cop who is very much looking forward to getting back to the work in the streets that he loves."

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