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Ex-Cop Charged With Killing Four In Hudson Valley Assaulted In Prison

Nicholas Tartaglione with a K-9 officer in 2007 when Tartaglione was a member of the Briarcliff Manor Police Department.
Nicholas Tartaglione with a K-9 officer in 2007 when Tartaglione was a member of the Briarcliff Manor Police Department. Photo Credit: File

Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer in Westchester and Dutchess counties charged with killing four people, is receiving inhumane treatment, including being assaulted at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, according to a letter his attorney wrote.

Tartaglione, of Otisville in Orange County, was hospitalized for more than two weeks for a fractured eye socket bone, after being assaulted Feb. 11 in the prison's general population unit, the letter to U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas from his attorney Bruce Barket said.

The 50-year-old Tartaglione is charged with killing Martin Luna, 41, Urbano Santiago, 32, Miguel Luna, 25, and Hector Gutierrez, 43, at the Likquid Lounge - a bar that his brother managed for a time in the town of Chester in Orange County when a cocaine deal went badly involving at least one of the victims. The victims were later found buried in his yard.

On Friday, Barket said Tartaglione's conditions have improved somewhat, and he has been given some of his belongings, but he hopes for additional improvement following an upcoming April 9 hearing.

"The letter speaks for itself," Barket said. "The conditions were deplorable."

Barket wrote that the conditions were so bad, that Tartaglione was depressed and in pain because he was not receiving any care for the wounds he received in the beating.

“We are unable to discuss the facts of the case or the complex legal issued of this capital prosecution because of the severe conditions of his confinement,” Barket wrote. “Mr. Tartaglione’s ability to engage in meaningful and sensitive topics has been lost.”

Until the letter and the following hearing, Tartaglione had been denied his personal belongings including even a toothbrush or the ability to shower, Barket said.

Tartaglione had worked as a police officer in Briarcliff, Pawling, Mount Vernon and Yonkers prior to Briarcliff Manor where he retired in 2008.

A Westchester County school security guard, Joseph Biggs, has also been charged in a 17-count indictment alongside Tartaglione.

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