SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A former Hadley police officer was taken into police custody and charged in federal court for using unreasonable force during an arrest.In a news release sent to 22News, the state Department of Justice said 48-year-old Christopher Roeder of Agawam was charged in an indictment unsealed on Friday, with one count of abusing his authority as a police officer and one count of falsification of a document.Court documents say that on April 3, 2017, Roeder hit a man he arrested in the face, breaking the man’s nose, which he needed plastic surgery to fix.The man was sitting on a bench in the Hadley Police Department booking area when the assault happened.
According to his indictment, Roeder allegedly attempted to obstruct the investigation into the assault of the man he arrested by falsifying his police report describing what led to the assault.
Roeder wrote in his report that the man he arrested made an obscene comment toward him. The former Hadley officer also stated that the man he arrested sat down slowly when he instructed him to and began to stand up again when he tried to handcuff him.
“According to Roeder, he allegedly had no option but to deliver an elbow strike directly to the bridge of the arrestee’s nose in order to gain the arrestee’s compliance,” the news release states. The Justice Department said the indictments alleges that Roeder’s statements were false.
The former Hadley officer could face more than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 if found guilty of abusing his authority as a police officer. Roeder could also face no more than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and another fine of up to $250,000 if found guilty of falsifying a police report.