Springfield police officers, bar manager plead not guilty to cover-up charges

Crime
Court_Arraignment__Springfield_police_of_0_20190502203110

 WORCESTER, Mass. (WWLP) – Multiple Springfield police officers and the bar manager of Nathan Bill’s were arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Thursday morning in connection with a 2015 assault and its alleged coverup.

The following people pleaded not guilty to the following charges:

  1. Springfield Police Officer Jose Diaz
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator 
  2. Springfield Police Officer Darren Nguyen
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  3. Springfield Police Officer Shavonne Lewis
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report 
  4. Springfield Police Sergeant Louis Bortolussi
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  5. Springfield Police Officer James D’Amour
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  6. Springfield Police Officer John Wajdula
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator/Federal Agent
    • Filing a False Police Report
  7. Former Springfield Police Officer Nathaniel Perez
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  8. Springfield Police Officer Melissa Rodriguez
    • Perjury
  9. Bar Manager Joseph Sullivan
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator/Federal Agent

All were released on personal recognizance.

Background

Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office alleges that on April 8, 2015, off-duty officers Daniel Billingsley, Anthony, Christian Cicero, Igor Basovskiy, Jameson Williams, and Jose Diaz and bar owner John Sullivan, assaulted four victims after a confrontation at Nathan Bill’s Bar & Restaurant in Springfield. The alleged fight took place down the street from the bar. Healey said victims sustained significant injuries.

Healey’s Office also alleges that after the assault, nine Springfield Police Officers, bar owner John Sullivan, and bar manager Joseph Sullivan took part in an ongoing cover-up of the assault. 

Acting Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood told 22News the twelve indicted officers are suspended without pay. Springfield Police Sergeant Louis Bortolussi has since retired.  Former Springfield Police Officer Nathaniel Perez is now a Massachusetts State Police Trooper.  State Police Spokesman David Procopio told 22News Perez was relieved of duty.

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