FBI Arrests Fall River Police Officer for Alleged Assault
UPDATE: A Fall River Police Department spokesperson says Officer Hoar has now been placed on unpaid administrative leave, and an internal investigation is underway. Hoar was placed on paid leave as soon as the complaint was filed, the spokesperson said.
FALL RIVER — A Fall River police officer has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly assaulting a man in police custody with a baton, and for allegedly filing false reports on the incident.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said 35-year-old Nicholas Hoar was arrested Wednesday morning on indictments charging him with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law resulting in bodily injury and two counts of false reports.
Hoar has previously been investigated by the Bristol D.A.'s office for his use of deadly force in a fatal shooting of a New Bedford man in 2017, for which he was cleared of wrongdoing.
Hoar was taken into custody at his Fall River home earlier today and is set to appear in federal court in Boston at 1:45 p.m., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The indictment charges him with allegedly striking a man who had been arrested in the forehead with a baton, causing bodily injury, while on duty as a Fall River police officer in December 2020.
Hoar then allegedly submitted two reports that did not mention the incident with the baton, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.
He faces up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
The same police officer was previously involved in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old New Bedford man Larry Ruiz-Barreto in Fall River in November 2017.
Hoar had responded to a report of shots fired at a drag race taking place at Riggenbach and Airport Roads when Ruiz-Barreto allegedly used his Acura to try to "nudge" the officer out of the way.
Instead, Hoar ended up being knocked onto the hood of the vehicle with his gun drawn and pointing at the windshield when Ruiz-Barreto accelerated, leading him to fire six rounds at the suspect, according to the D.A.'s office report on the incident.
The Bristol County D.A.'s office concluded that Hoar's use of deadly force in the incident was justified.
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