A 61-year-old Clark Township, New Jersey woman is in a coma, following a brutal assault by a local police officer.
On July 31, Union County police officer Joseph Teston slammed Antoinette Dilorio face first onto the pavement, fracturing bones and knocking out her teeth. She was transported to a local hospital, where her injuries required doctors to place her on a breathing tube, before putting her into a medically-induced coma. Her condition was listed as critical.
Crystal Palmieri, who witnessed the incident, described what she witnessed during an interview with WABC, saying:
“All of a sudden he grabbed my mother in law by the arm, lifted her off her feet in mid-air and slammed her on the ground. All you saw was blood pouring out of her face.”
Palmieri, her fiancee, Fortunato Riga, and the couple’s five-year-old son were driving in Clark Township, along with Riga’s mother, Antoinette Dilorio, when an officer pulled them over. Riga was driving the vehicle. According to the couple, Teston accused the driver of running a stop sign. At some point during the encounter, the cop grabbed Riga, dragging him out of the vehicle. Riga says his 61-year-old mother was attempting to stick up for him, when Teston slammed her onto the pavement.
Riga told WABC:
“My mom is 61 years old, if she weighs 105 pounds it’s a lot. They tried saying my mom jumped on the cop’s back. My mom grabbed the cop and said ‘why are you going after my son like this?’. He was like, shut up boom and just slammed her, she went face first.”
Here’s more on this story from WABC:
The response from Clark mayor, Sal Bonaccorso, is nothing short of outrageous. According to nj.com:
“Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso said he has no reason to believe the officer acted with anything but professionalism, and he’s remaining on the job. Quite honestly, I’m disgusted by the whole situation,” Bonaccorso said. “I think these people are looking for a pay day. And they’re not going to get in in Clark.”
According to nj.com, Teston is a veteran of the U.S. Marines, and has been with the Union County police department for five years. Judging from his photo (which can be viewed here) this cop is clearly a big, strong guy. Yet we’re expected to believe that a 61-year-old woman, weighing barely 100 pounds, was a real threat to this military veteran and experienced law enforcement officer. The only option available to this big, strong cop was to break this woman’s face and head on the cement?
Contrary to what some might believe, police are only allowed to use the amount of force needed to get a person to comply. They are not allowed to just beat up whoever they want, whenever they want. It’s impossible to believe that this cop had absolutely no other choice than to critically injure a woman of Dilorio’s age and size.
It’s no wonder Union County cops have been fighting against mandatory police body cams. As it stands now, it’s their word against the word of “these payout seeking people,” as the mayor likes to call U.S. citizens brutalized by out of control cops.
Not surprisingly, police have released a slew of information about Rigo’s driving record, which includes a long list of traffic offenses and license suspensions. We know that slandering the victim is a tactic commonly used by cops who break the law. In this case, Riga wasn’t the victim, his mother was. What do her son’s traffic tickets have to do with a cop critically injuring her? It’s as if these cops are suggesting that if you get a certain number of traffic tickets, the appropriate punishment would be for them to put your mom in the hospital.
Are these guys cops or the mafia? Who can tell anymore?
*Featured image credit: video screen capture via WABC