On November 17, Kevin Hemmerich and his brother Jason Hemmerich went to the Hopatcong, New Jersey police station so Kevin could turn himself in on an outstanding warrant. For whatever reason, the brothers decided it’d be a good prank for Kevin to dress in a bunny suit and repeatedly blow an airhorn while in the station’s lobby.
Based on video recorded by Jason, everything seemed to be going as planned—the brothers were laughing and enjoying themselves, and the woman behind the counter was clearly very annoyed—until two officers emerged from the back of the station to angrily confront the two.
“Who’s blowing the fucking airhorn?” Officer Nicholas Maresca, Jr. can be seen asking on the video.
“Me,” Kevin sheepishly answers.
“Why you doing that?” Maresca asks.
“I don’t know,” Kevin replies.
“You don’t know?” Maresca asks before slapping violently Kevin in the head. The other officer later knocks the phone out of Jason’s hand as he was recording.
On Friday, Maresca was charged with one count of simple assault for the slap. He will remain on desk duty until the case is resolved.
“Officer Maresca acted appropriately and in accordance with his training and experience as a police officer on that evening in Hopatcong,” Anthony Iacullo, Maresca’s lawyer, told NJ.com. “We are confident that when this matter proceeds to trial Officer Maresca will be vindicated of the one charge against him.”
Kevin was detained and has since served his time in jail for failure to complete 12 days worth of work with the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program, which he’d been sentenced to for not having auto insurance at the time of a crash. Charges of harassment, obstruction, and disorderly conduct for his filming of the incident are still pending against his brother Jason, though Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Greg Mueller said his office was reviewing the “the appropriateness of the charges.”