A former Utica Police Officer was sentenced on Wednesday in federal court in Syracuse for using excessive force during an arrest.

27-year-old Matthew Ferlitto of Utica had previously pleading guilty to violating the constitutionally protected right of an arrestee to be free from excessive force by a law enforcement officer

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Felitto admitted that while working as a Utica Police officer in September of 2020, he kicked a restrained arrestee in the face and upper chest.

They say the arrestee was handcuffed behind his back and in leg shackles when Felitto arrived because he had been refusing to comply with the commands of other officers already on-scene. Felitto helped those officers place the arrestee in the back of a police van.

Authorities say once the arrestee was lying on the floor of the van face up and restrained, Felitto kicked him several times in the face and upper chest while wearing work boots.

They say the kicks were made with sufficient force to cause the arrestee pain and a bruised and swollen lip.

Felitto was sentenced to two years of probation and was fined $7,500. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service during his probation.

As a convicted felon, Felitto will be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.

As part of his plea agreement, Felitto has also resigned from the UPD.

The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gadarian and Michael  Perry with the assistance of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice.

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