SCHENECTADY — A fired Schenectady County corrections officer has been indicted on felony assault counts for attacking an inmate over being called lazy, the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday.
Eugene Sellie, 28, was indicted on two counts of second-degree assault, felonies, along with two counts of misdemeanor official misconduct.
Sellie was arrested after the alleged November attack and fired. He is to be arraigned on the indictment later.
Sellie is accused of attacking John Mannarino Nov. 9 as Mannarino was being released from jail. The attack left Mannarino hospitalized and on a ventilator for nearly a week, Mannarino’s attorney has said.
News of Tuesday’s indictment also came with new information on the alleged attack.
Mannarino was scheduled to be released from the jail through a court order from Niskayuna Town Court and Sellie was tasked with releasing the detainee. Mannarino, who was identified earlier, is referred to in the district attorney’s release as simply the detainee.
As Mannarino waited to be released, he complained about the length of time it was taking and then insulted Sellie, calling him lazy, District Attorney Robert Carney said.
“When the detainee was ready to be released, Sellie took the detainee to a secluded room in the jail that does not have cameras in it,” the release read. “There, Sellie assaulted the detainee by punching him and kicking him with his heavy work boots. The assault left the detainee with numerous broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a collapsed lung, and bruises to his face.”
He was then released from custody after the beating, and authorities were tipped off when a probation officer pulled over after he saw him walking along the sidewalk at the corner of Veeder Avenue and Albany Street – not far from the jail – and stopped, officials have said.
The assault charges stem from the beating, while the official misconduct counts accuse Sellie of failing to get medical attention for Mannarino and failing to comply with use of force procedures, officials said.
Sellie’s attorney, Andrew Safranko, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, but he has argued previously that the detainee tried to attack Sellie and that the use of force was justified.
In a statement Tuesday, Carney described the incident differently.
“This was an unprovoked attack on a defenseless man who, had he not obtained medical attention thanks to a parole officer passing by, might have suffered lethal consequences,” Carney said. “I know the sheriff has made clear by firing Sellie that this behavior will not be tolerated in the jail and in seeking this indictment my office intends to send an equally clear message to the community that such behavior will lead to criminal consequences for the perpetrator.”
The indictment was the result of an investigation by Carney’s staff, led by Assistant District Attorney Brian Gray and assisted by personnel from the Sheriff’s Department, Schenectady Police Department and the Schenectady County Attorney’s Office.