Helpless hospital patient beaten by NJ cop — Smiling partner records it
PATERSON — A corrupt cop has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after being caught dealing drugs in addition to assaulting a helpless hospital patient while his partner recorded video of the bloody beating.
Video of the attack can be seen above. Warning: The footage contains graphic violence.
Ruben McAusland, 27, on Wednesday was handed a 66-month sentence in federal prison and ordered to pay $32,892 in restitution.
McAusland is one of six city officers that federal prosecutors have recently charged as being crooked cops who preyed upon the community that they were sworn to protect.
Residents of the state’s third-largest city have long complained about treatment by police and recent incidents have led to demonstrations and protests even when the officers involved were not charged with any wrongdoing.
In January, for example, a man named Jameek Lowery died in the hospital after he showed up at police headquarters in a paranoid state seeking help after apparently consuming ecstasy. Some community members and relatives faulted officers for not providing Lowery with water, which he had pleaded for.
In October, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office declined to press charges against police seen on video hitting and using pepper spray on a deaf man. The man later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense and the incident prompted a review of police policy.
In McAusland’s case, the evidence of his misconduct was captured by a hospital surveillance camera and his own partner’s recording.
In video released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, McAusland can be seen attacking a man who was sitting in a wheelchair in the hospital in March 2018. McAusland admitted grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing him onto the ground in the waiting room.
In another video, McAusland’s partner, Roger Then, smiles into the camera before McAusland strikes the patient twice in the face with a gloved hand. Each blow produced splatters of blood that landed on the man’s bed sheet and on the hospital room’s wall and floor. The assault caused an eye injury that required surgery.
Both officers then lied about the incident in their reports, omitting the violence.
The patient had called police because he was attempting suicide and was transported to the hospital.
Then, 29, pleaded guilty in December to concealing the civil rights crime committed by his partner. He faces three years in prison. UPDATE: Then was sentenced April 2 to six months in prison. ]
McAusland also was convicted of dealing heroin, crack, cocaine and marijuana to someone who was cooperating with law enforcement from 2017 to 2018. McAusland admitted that he stole the drugs from a crime scene while on duty and in uniform.
The head of the FBI Field Office in Newark called this case "especially troubling to those of us in law enforcement" and said the FBI will not "look the other way" when a cop breaks the law.
“When an officer betrays the oath to protect and serve, it tarnishes the law enforcement community and puts the public at risk," Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said in a statement released after the sentencing.
Highway robbery ... by the police
McAusland is not the only officer facing similar charges.
Officer Jonathan Bustios, 29, and Officer Eudy Ramos, 32, were arrested last April on charges that they pulled over people to rob them.
In December, Bustios admitted that the stops had started in 2016 and lasted until his arrest. Ramos has pleaded not guilty.
Federal prosecutors said that in February 2018, Bustios and Ramos pulled over a BMW and confiscated money and a gun. The officers only reported and submitted the gun, not the money, and said the gun was found as a result of a tip, not a traffic stop, prosecutors say.
In March 2018, prosecutors say Bustios arrested someone and told the suspect that he could keep several hundred dollars that he had found if he told Bustios where he could find a gun. They said Bustios never turned in the gun that the person told him about.
Other officers also were involved, prosecutors said.
In December, Officer Matthew Torres, 30, was arrested and charged with pulling over people to rob them.
Prosecutors said that a year earlier, he and Ramos pulled over a car. A passenger admitting having two bags of marijuana and $3,100 cash.
Ramos told the passenger that he did not care about the marijuana but would have to take $500 cash, prosecutors said. Officials say Ramos then pretended to call his supervisor, and told the passenger that his superior officer said that he would have to take $800 instead.
Authorities said the officers in fact took $1,000 of the cash and never reported it to headquarters.
Just this week, Officer Daniel Pent, 32, was arrested and also charged with working with Ramos to pull people over and rob them.
Prosecutors say that the two stopped a vehicle in February 2017, detained the passengers and stole $10,000 in cash. The victim was charged with loitering in a drug area but the officers never reported the cash they confiscated.
Pent was earning a base salary of $53,200. Torres was earning a base salary of $47,900. Bustios was earning a base salary of less than $44,300. Ramos was earning a base salary of $51,000.
Federal auhotorities do not release arrest booking photos of suspects.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.