After two days of withholding the identities of four off-duty officers involved in a fracas over a stripper, Brookline police today released their names while an attorney for their union said allegations that they beat a man will be proven untrue.
The police made the disclosure after Fox Undercover learned their identities and asked Brookline police for their work histories.
The attorney for Robert Sonia, who was chaperoning a stripper called to an early-morning bachelor party attended by the off-duty cops, says his client plans to file applications for criminal complaints against the four later this week. He had sought the officers’ names on Monday, the day after the alleged assault.
“My client is entitled to the names of people who brutally attacked him, who were kicking him in the face,” said lawyer Jeff Saliba. “He’s entitled to those names for a variety of reasons to exercise his rights.”
All the officers – Daniel Avila, David Hill, Yu Kajita and Brendan Kelliher – have all been on the force for less than four years.
The four were partying at a Beacon Street condominium owned by Hill when they made a call at 3 a.m. for a stripper. The dancer and Sonia arrived an hour later, but Sonia says the cops told him that the bachelor had left and they wanted to cancel the show.
After the two left for their car, Sonia says one of the cops followed them, taking pictures of their license plate. Then, Sonia says, he was attacked by all four officers.
“I thought they were going to kill me. I thought they were going to handcuff me and freaking beat me to death,” he said. “The only time that I felt safe was when I was in the ambulance.”
The dancer, who spoke to FOX Undercover on the condition her identity not be revealed, said the officers were “absolutely” intoxicated. Fearing for her safety during the alleged assault, the stripper says she locked herself in the car.
“They were just like kicking him and punching him in the head. They wouldn't stop. He was brutally beaten. It was horrible,” she said.
One of the suspended officers, Kajita, received two commendations from his department, for excellent police work in 2009. Another suspended officer, Kelliher is the son of a Brookline police sergeant.
Brookline police say none of the officers has been the subject of an internal investigation before.
A lawyer for the Brookline Police Union, Bryan Decker, told FOX Undercover that, “The officers are cooperating fully with the department's investigation, and at the appropriate time their side will come out fully."
Decker added that the allegations made by Sonia will be proved to be untrue, and that police acted appropriately taking him into custody. Sonia was handcuffed at the scene by a uniformed officer, but he has not been charged with any crime.