NYPD sergeant charged with assault after body-cam caught him slugging handcuffed suspects

Jul 22, 2021
NYPD sergeant charged with assault after body-cam caught him slugging handcuffed suspects

A veteran NYPD sergeant was hit with assault charges Thursday for allegedly slugging two handcuffed suspects — including one who yelled anti-Asian slurs at him during an arrest.

Sgt. Phillip Wong, a 15-year member of the department, was released without bail after pleading not guilty to assault and attempted assault charges in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Wong, 37, is accused of slugging one man during an arrest at a West 96th Street subway station on April 29, 2020 after the perp allegedly shouted anti-Asian slurs and kicked him, prosecutors said.

Wong, who worked for Transit District 3, allegedly knelt on the man’s back after he and another cop took the suspect to the ground — with the man yelling, “I can’t breathe,” according to the indictment.

“I don’t give a f–k if you can breathe or not,” Wong allegedly replied, as he punched them in the face.

In the second incident, Wong was in his police precinct on Oct. 4, 2019 when cops brought in an unruly 48-year-old suspect and two others.

NYPD Sergeant Phillip Wong was arrested for punching prisoners while they were in handcuffs.
NYPD Sergeant Phillip Wong was arrested for punching prisoners while they were in handcuffs.
Steven Hirsch

The man kicked the door when other officers tried to put him inside a holding cell and began spitting at the cops — prompting Wong to jump in and slug him, prosecutors said.

Both alleged assaults were caught on police body camera footage.

Wong’s lawyer, Andrew Quinn, said outside the courthouse that the charges against his client are the result of a recent climate of disrespect for cops in the Big Apple.

“The city sort of created this atmosphere where people can say anything to police officers,” Quinn said. “They use racial and ethnic slurs against officers. They denigrate their personal appearance, they denigrate their sexuality.”

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He said suspects feel free “to call a cop whatever they want without consequences.”

NYPD Sergeant Phillip Wong arrested for 3rd assault for punching prisoners while they were in handcuffs.
After the incident, Philip Wong was suspended from the NYPD.
Steven Hirsch

Prosecutors asked that Wong serve a 60-day jail sentence in the case.

“As alleged, this sergeant grossly violated his training — and the law — during the arrests of these two individuals, whose conduct did not justify these violent responses,” Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.

“Our office will not accept police violence,” he said, “and we encourage any victims or witnesses of similar conduct to report it.”

Wong has been suspended without pay from the NYPD and is due back in court on Oct. 18.

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Raymond Hicks

With a knack for storytelling, Raymond started The Madison Leader Gazette about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the US & World section, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.