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Moose Hall on West Side Ave.: Bias attack on off-duty cop; 2 arrests
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2004/9/15 19:03
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Bias attack on off-duty cop; 2 arrests
Friday, November 23, 2007

An evening of drinking led to a bias attack on a Jersey City police officer and a car crash Wednesday night in Jersey City, police said.

Torres, 27, an East Precinct police officer who was off-duty at the time, was harassed and attacked by two men on Thanksgiving eve at the Moose Hall, at 60 West Side Ave. According to police reports, Panayioti Loizou, 53, of Gautier Avenue, approached Torres shortly after midnight at the crowded bar and called him racist, derogatory names.

Torres and a friend tried to leave the hall's bar, but Loizou followed the two men and punched Torres outside the hall, said Stan Eason, a spokesman for the Jersey City Police Department.

Peter Criaris, 54, of Terhune Avenue, joined Loizou in the attack on Torres and a fight broke out outside the hall, said Eason. Other patrons from the bar broke up the fight. Someone from inside the Moose Hall called police and four officers arrived on the scene, Eason said.

Loizou fled in a BMW X5, but didn't get very far. He slammed the luxury SUV into four parked cars at the intersection of Armstrong and West Side avenues.

Unhurt, he emerged from the car and walked back to the bar, where he was immediately arrested by Torres and the other police officers. Loizou was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer under the bias crime statute, and resisting arrest, said Eason.

Eason said Loizou refused a Breathalyzer test but exhibited signs of being intoxicated. He was also charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. He was administered a blood test at the Jersey City Medical Center and results are pending.

Criaris was also arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and obstructing a governmental function.

Torres, Loizou and Criaris were treated at Jersey City Medical Center for cuts and bruises and were released early yesterday morning.

Posted on: 2007/11/23 16:26

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