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Mount Vernon police officer charged with using excessive force with woman under arrest

A Mount Vernon police officer who allegedly shoved a handcuffed woman at headquarters during an arrest was charged at arraignment Wednesday for using excessive force. 

Officer Ryan Hughes appeared in Mount Vernon City Court Wednesday before Judge William Edwards and was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to a year in jail.

The incident with Hughes and the woman occurred Aug. 24, 2019, after the woman was taken into custody for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend. Hughes pushed the woman with force into the interview room and she subsequently tripped over a waste basket and fell into a cinder block wall. 

According to the criminal complaint by District Attorney Investigator Thomas Drake, Hughes, 31, of Yonkers, was assigned to transport the woman to headquarters following her arrest. She was intoxicated and complaining of injury and her hands were cuffed behind her.

Her left foot caught the garbage can and she stumbled into the 6-foot room, folding to her side after apparently hitting the wall. 

MOUNT VERNON: Officer Ryan Hughes arrested for allegedly shoving woman in custody 

The second-degree reckless endangerment charge accuses Hughes’ of creating a serious risk of physical injury because the handcuffs prevented the woman from breaking her fall. 

After the District Attorney’s office received surveillance footage in January, five months after the incident took place, they began an investigation that involved seeking medical records and interviewing witnesses.

According to the District Attorney’s office, the investigation was also hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.

The underlying charges against the victim were dismissed in February.

Hughes surrendered to the District Attorney’s Office in White Plains on June 11. He is the fourth Mount Vernon cop arrested in the past 10 months.

The District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Bureau and Criminal Investigators conducted the investigation. The Public Integrity Bureau will prosecute the case.

Following bail law, Hughes was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug.18.