A Newark police officer was found guilty Thursday of hitting a man in the face with his gun nearly two years ago, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
Hugo Fierro, a 46-year-old city resident who was on the force for 11 years, was convicted by a jury in Newark following two days of deliberations. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 25 on a third-degree aggravated assault charge, a second-degree charge of official misconduct and a charge of simple assault.
On May 8, 2011, the victim, a 44-year-old married father of three, was in front of Tony’s Marisqueira Bar and Restaurant on Bloomfield Avenue when he was confronted by Fierro, who was off duty. Unprovoked, Fierro struck the victim, who at the time did not know Fierro was a police officer. The incident was captured on the restaurant’s surveillance camera.
“When you are given the honor and the privilege of being a police officer, you are given a sacred trust. On May 8, 2011, Officer Fierro betrayed that trust. And today, a jury of 12 citizens from Essex County sent a very clear message that they would not tolerate such a blatant violation of the law by someone who has sworn to uphold the law, ’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Sahil Kabse.
Fierro, who complained of chest pains after the verdict, was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody. He is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility.
Fierro faces between five and 10 years in prison.