NYPD Officer Faces Criminal Charges for Misconduct in Pepper Spray Incident
NYPD Officer Philip Fioranelli is facing criminal charges for alleged misconduct, including sitting on a handcuffed detainee and spraying pepper spray in his mouth and eyes. The incident is reported to have occurred on May 18, while Fioranelli, 48, was working a paid security shift at a lower Manhattan parking garage.
The victim, Aqil Alshimary, had purchased a multiday parking ticket the day before, which he refused to provide when picking up his vehicle, leading to a confrontation.
Fioranelli, who pleaded not guilty to one count of official misconduct, was released on his own recognizance after a brief appearance before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Michelle Rodney. Prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s police accountability unit allege that Fioranelli, after a skirmish, used his NYPD-issued firearm to force compliance from Alshimary.
Subsequently, Fioranelli reportedly mounted the detainee, straddling him with one leg on either side, and sprayed multiple bursts of pepper spray into Alshimary’s eyes and mouth.
Court documents reveal that Fioranelli used his hand to spread and rub the pepper spray around Alshimary’s face, even exposing himself to the chemical inadvertently. The officer allegedly repeated the pepper spray deployment approximately two minutes later, keeping Alshimary underneath for more than three-and-a-half minutes.
During this time, Fioranelli reportedly yanked at the detainee’s neck, pulled at his handcuffed arms, and applied pressure to his back.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg emphasized the importance of holding officers accountable, stating, “There is no question that New York City Police Officers are put in extremely challenging positions every day, but officers who violate the law must be held accountable.”
After the incident, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau suspended Fioranelli, who has been a member of the force since 2004. His disciplinary history includes four infractions, resulting in 45 docked vacation days, including incidents of impeding a police investigation off duty, possession of a counterfeit police shield, and a physical altercation with another officer.
In response to the charges, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry condemned them, arguing that Fioranelli was the victim of assault by Alshimary, who was charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment. Alshimary, after attending a community treatment program, received an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal on Oct. 18, allowing the dismissal of his case if he remains trouble-free for six months.
The case is now under the scrutiny of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, emphasizing the ongoing commitment to police accountability and public safety.