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RI CRIME

Former Block Island police officer accused of assault during arrest of Connecticut man

Officer James Baino, 48, was indicted on Wednesday on a charge of assault and battery. He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 7.

NEW SHOREHAM, R.I. — A former police officer is accused of assaulting a 20-year-old Connecticut man whom he charged with assaulting him.

James Baino, 48, was indicted on Wednesday on a charge of assault and battery. He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 7.

Baino is accused of assaulting Richard Morrell, of New Milford, Conn., during an arrest on June 18.

Baino, who was a year-round reserve officer, was put on leave that night, and his employment was terminated on Aug. 2, said New Shoreham Town Manager Maryanne Crawford. She declined further comment.

Baino had charged Morrell with assaulting him and causing bodily injury, which is a felony, as well as disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

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Morrell was released on his own recognizance at his arraignment in July. He’d been charged with assault and trespass on Block Island a few years before, as well. His lawyer, Stefanie Ann Murphy, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Baino had previously served for 20 years in the Pawtucket Police Department, where he was a school resource officer, patrol officer, detective, and president of the police union. He then worked for the East Providence Police Department briefly before joining New Shoreham in 2022.

This story has been updated with comments from the New Shoreham Town Manager.



Amanda Milkovits can be reached at amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her @AmandaMilkovits.