Ex-Paterson cop sentenced to 6 years for assaulting suicidal patient in hospital, dealing drugs

PATERSON, New Jersey -- A former New Jersey police officer who admitted dealing drugs was caught on camera brutally assaulting a suicidal man -- twice.

Federal prosecutors sentenced ex-Paterson officer Ruben McAusland to nearly six years in jail Wednesday for both crimes. He also must pay $32,892 in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney's office released the video this week of 27-year-old McAusland, on duty and in uniform, assaulting a patient at St. Joseph's Regional Hospital in March 2018.

First, surveillance video caught McAusland pushing and punching the man, who was in a wheelchair in a waiting room full of people.

Then the patient, lying in his hospital bed, tells the officer "do it" before McAusland slaps him twice across the face, so hard that blood sprays onto the bed. The man had an eye injury that required surgery.

The patient, identified as Andrew Casciano, has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city.

Another officer, Roger Then, recorded video of the assault with his cell phone. He has pleaded guilty in the hospital assault.

McAusland pleaded guilty last June to possessing drugs with the intent to distribute and depriving the patient of his civil rights.

Prosecutors say McAusland distributed heroin, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana on multiple occasions to someone who was cooperating with law enforcement.

In some cases, the former officer stole drugs from a crime scene while on duty.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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