They were a group of cops who “acted as thugs in uniform,” running roughshod over a Long Island retreat, the New York Daily News reports. The alleged reign of terror over the village of Ocean Beach came to an end yesterday with an 18-count indictment against the town’s acting police chief and three officers. The indictment charged acting Police Chief George Hesse with viciously beating and stomping a New Yorker who had been given a littering summons.
Three other cops were charged with covering up the 2005 assault by saying falsely that a clock fell on Samuel Gilberd’s head and that his injuries were self-inflicted. “It was a police department gone wild,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. Last week, five former Ocean Beach cops sued in federal court asserting that they were wrongfully fired because Hesse believed they were cooperating with police misconduct investigators. The lawsuit charged that Hesse hung out with a drug dealer and ran his department like a “fraternity house,” where he had sexual liaisons and covered up cases of off-duty cops brawling in bars.