D.A. Bragg Announces Indictment of NYPD Officer For Repeatedly Punching Victim in the Face and Head

October 4, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the indictment of New York City Police Department Officer CHRISTIAN ZAPATA, 36, for punching an individual approximately 13 times when responding to a call about an emotionally disturbed child. ZAPATA, who was a Sergeant in the 32nd precinct at the time of the incident, is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with one count of Assault in the Third Degree. [1] 

“Christian Zapata is charged with repeatedly punching a victim who posed no immediate danger or physical threat. We will continue to impartially investigate instances where members of law enforcement use unnecessary force, because doing so is essential for enhancing public safety and confidence in the criminal justice system,” said District Attorney Bragg. 

According to court documents and statements made on the record, on December 7, 2022, Zapata and several other members of the NYPD responded to a call about an emotionally disturbed child inside an apartment. The victim, who was 43 years old, allegedly asked the officers multiple times to put on facemasks and even called 911 seeking the assistance of supervisor. The officers refused to do so. 

The victim then attempted to check on the child, at which point ZAPATA told him that he was interfering with EMS and would be arrested. Another officer began backing the victim down the apartment hallway and when the victim swatted the officer’s hand away, the officer grabbed the victim by both wrists and fully restrained him. Though the victim was not posing any physical threat, ZAPATA allegedly stepped forward and punched the victim in the face and head more than a dozen times over a span of nine seconds. 

Two other officers intervened and pulled ZAPATA away from the victim. The NYPD suspended ZAPATA following the incident and, in August of 2023, demoted him to the rank of police officer. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant D.A. Tavish Deatley, under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Nick Viorst (Chief of the Police Accountability Unit). PAU Investigative Analyst Maddy Molina and PAU Supervising Investigator Edward Johnson are assisting with the case. Former PAU Investigative Analyst Anna Fretz and former PAU Investigator Genina Dapolita also supported the investigation. D.A. Bragg thanked the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. 

Defendant Information: 


Bronx, New York 


  • Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, one count 


[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.