By Bryanna Fissori
Apparently five rounds were not enough for Junior Middleweight Boxer Gabriel Rosado (17-5) as he was able to go an extra round after his July 15 victory against Ayi Bruce. According to Atlantic City Police, at approximately 3:15 a.m. at Bally’s Casino, where the sanctioned fight had taken place earlier, Rosado and an entourage of five other men let the celebration get out of hand.
Rosado squared off with a uniformed Atlantic City Police officer after being asked to leave the casino. Officer Franco Sydnor was off-duty, but assisting casino security. He ended up in the hospital with five stitches in his lip and two in the elbow, while Rosado and company found themselves incarcerated and charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer and Terrorist Threats. Rosado was also taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center for treatment for injuries sustained during the incident, though exact injuries have not been reported.
One of the men in Rosado’s party was an off-duty Police Officer. Officer Eliezer Morales from District 16 in Philidelphia was also charged with inciting a riot in addition to the assault and threat charges. No one from the department was available to speak over the weekend, though typically when and officer commits a crime most forces attempt to handle the situation internally if possible rather than holding the officer criminally or civilly liable, though the situation is unique given that the offenses were committed in a different state.
Furthermore, during the incident Daniel Rosado (relative) grabbed Officer Sydnor’s baton. Although the officer was able to quickly regain possession Daniel will be charged with Disarming a Law Enforcement Officer, which is a second degree crime holding the potential of 5-10 years in prison. According to Joseph Levin, attorney for Gabriel Rosado, the baton was used to cause much of the injuries sustained by the boxer. “Yes he was injured,” said Levin. “He ended up in the hospital and had to have seven stitches put in to hold his head together.”
The casino’s security video has not been publically released because it is considered evidence, though if it reveals that the perpetrator used the weapon against the officer it will be upgraded to a first degree offense carrying a 10-20 year penalty. “We have subpoenaed the video, but have not received it yet,” said Levin who is convinced that the footage will exonerate Rosado. “He has no prior record.”
The three other men involved were Feliz Hernandez, Jonathan Matos and Raul Morales.
Aggravated Assault and Terroristic Threat charges sustained by all six men are third degree offenses in the jurisdiction. It does not matter that Sydnor was not on duty during the incident as any simple assault immediately becomes aggravated when against a law enforcement officer under New Jersey Criminal Code 2C: 12 1(b)5(a) “Any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority or because of his status as a law enforcement officer.”
Because Sydnor was uniformed and acting the capacity of an officer the charge will likely stick.
As for the Terroristic Threats charge, under the New Jersey Criminal Code Section 2C:12-3 (a) “A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.”
A third degree criminal offense carries the potential of 3 to 5 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. All six men were remanded to the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing with bail set at $50,000 per charge, per person. Rosado’s bail was set at $200,000. At a bail hearing Monday, Judge Michael Donio agreed with Levin that bail was set unreasonably high and it was reduced to $25,000. All of the other members of Rosado’s party were released on $50,000.
“This will not affect my willingness to work with Gabriel,” J Russel Peltz of Peltz Boxing Promotions told BoxingInsider.com. “He has no prior record and it is hard to believe this happened, but anything is possible. He takes care of himself and his young daughter and he recently got a full-time job and he is dedicated to his boxing career. I am sure he is truly sorry for whatever happened last Saturday.”
Rosado was held in the adult detention facility for over a week before making bail. He will not be permitted to re-enter the casino until after the matter is resolved though he may retain the option to compete there under stipulations involving notification to the prosecutor’s office and presentation of a contract.
The next hearing on the matter will be held August 22nd.