Hopatcong police officer charged with slapping man in bunny suit

Hopatcong Police Officer Nicholas Maresca Jr. was charged with simple assault for allegedly hitting Kevin Hemmerich with an open hand.

Hopatcong Police Officer Nicholas Maresca Jr. was charged with simple assault for allegedly hitting Kevin Hemmerich with an open hand. (12/5/16)

HOPATCONG - A police officer in Sussex has been charged with assault for allegedly slapping a man who was wearing a bunny costume and blowing an air horn in an incident captured on video.

The Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office says that Hopatcong Police Officer Nicholas Maresca Jr. faces one count of simple assault after he allegedly slapped Kevin Hemmerich on Nov. 17.

A video shot by Hemmerich's brother Jason showed Kevin Hemmerich entering the Hopatcong police station and blowing an air horn repeatedly despite being told to stop.

Jason Hemmerich said two officers began cursing at them, and one hit his brother in the face. He told News 12 New Jersey that his brother was turning himself in on a warrant related to a motor vehicle accident.

Hemmerich was not seriously injured

A defense attorney for Officer Maresca tells NJ.com that the officer "acted appropriately and in accordance with his training and experience."

Officer Maresca will remain on administrative duty for the time being.

A court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 28.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: Amazon announces new NJ centers 1 VIDEO: Amazon announces new NJ centers
2 Police investigating overnight shooting in Paterson
South Brunswick's Mohammed Sanu from the Falcons is 3 Falcons, Patriots coaches guest coach at Rutgers' spring game
Eric Schneider is today's Scholar Athlete. 4 Scholar Athlete - Eric Schneider
5 VIDEO: Extended interview with Sen. Cory Booker & Gov. Chris Christie

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Kevin Hemmerich appears to be punched by a Man in bunny suit appears to be punched by officer

A Hopatcong man says that what started out as a prank and an attempt at

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE