Prosecution in Yonkers cop trial rests

The prosecution in the criminal civil rights case against a Yonkers police officer accused of body-slamming a woman called on its final witnesses Thursday.

The last witnesses for the federal prosecution were cops who were on the scene when Officer Wayne Simoes allegedly picked up Irma Marquez and brought her down to the floor face first in the La Fonda Restaurant March 3, 2007.

The third day of testimony began with the defense cross examining Deputy Police Chief Edward Geiss, who said on the witness stand that Simoes appeared to be surprised that Marquez was seriously injured. Geiss repeated that he did not believe Simoes intended to hurt the woman, and that Simoes seemed to be in shock when he realized what had happened.

Geiss added that the day after the incident, he told Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Hartnet that excessive force may have been involved, and that he had doubts about Simoes' claim that it was an accident.

Both Geiss and another officer, Todd Mendelson, described Marquez as being extremely intoxicated and behaving in a disruptive manner on the night of the incident. They said she was interfering with efforts by police EMTs to help another woman who was laying injured and unconscious on the bar room floor.

Geiss and Mendelson said it was after one of the first responders asked for help in keeping Marquez away that Simoes confronted the woman.

The jury was also shown video of events surrounding the bar fight that brought police to La Fonda March 3. In the footage, a drink is seen being thrown to the floor. The defense is attempting to prove that Simoes' foot slipped as he picked up Marquez, causing him to drop her.

The defense will present its version of events Friday. The case is expected to go to the jury next week.

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