Thursday, June 16, 2022

Man Bites 2 Cops, But D.A. Wonders If He Had Criminal Intent

By Ralph Cipriano

It seemed like a fairly routine case.

At approximately 6:27 a.m. yesterday, Police Officers Byrd and Hasley drove to 445 Fitzgerald Street in South Philly to assist medics in dealing with a combative patient. Upon arrival, the cops were advised that a white male on the 2nd floor was acting hostile. 

Officer Byrd entered the room and tapped the male on the shoulder to wake him up. According to the cops, that's when Richard McNissins, 33, stood up and started to swing his arms, and then he tried to kick the officer, as well as the medics.

Next, McNissins tried to bite Officer Byrd on the arm and continued to wrestle with him and the medics. That's when Officer Hasley fired her taser twice at McNissins, to no effect. Officer Byrd was able to get one cuff on McNissins, but according to a police report, McNissins bit Officr Byrd on the right thigh, breaking the skin. McNissins then punched Officer Byrd in the jaw, causing his lip to bleed.

McNissins also bit Officer Hasley on the left arm and was punching and kicking her while the cops were trying to cuff him. Officer Hasley raised her metal baton and struck McNissis on the legs. As other officers were called to the scene for assistance, McNissins continued to fight.

McNissins, whom the cops said was probably high on narcotics, was finally placed in cuffs and shackles and taken to the hospital. Officer Byrd was left with a bloody mouth and a bite mark on his right thigh and pain in his left hand. Officer Hasley had a bite mark on her left forearm and pain in her right thumb, wrist and forearm.

Yep, it was a simple case until it went to the D.A.'s office for prosecution. First, the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner denied the cops a warrant to search the premises. And then Assistant District Attorney Neil Pladus, a rookie in the D.A.'s charging unit, decided not to prosecute McNissins.

Why? Because ADA Pladus, a 2021 Georgetown Law grad who was hired by Larry Krasner last September, conducted his own investigation. 

And after reviewing the body camera footage and all of the discovery in the case, rookie ADA Pladus concluded "in the interests of justice. . . It is impossible to say that the defendant bit and flailed at the officers with any level of criminal intent."

 Why? Because, ADA Pladus wrote, the suspect "was incoherent during the entire encounter."

To make matters more puzzling, ADA Pladus just might be a former cop. But if he's a former cop that Larry Krasner would hire as an ADA, you know he has to be a woke progressive.

Sure enough, a certain Neil Pladus, a law school student in August, 2020, wrote an opus for the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy entitled, "Justice for George Floyd: Police Against Privilege with Noncustodial Arrests and a More Transparent Police Force."

The subhead: "The era of physically arresting and incarcerating people for community welfare issues belongs in the past. It is time for the police to embrace a more limited role with added transparency, less physicality, and more restraint."

The essay written by Neil Pladus the law student goes on to say:

Prior to law school, I was a cop in suburban New Jersey for three years. I was dispatched to respond to an active shooter, heroin overdoses, bar fights, suicidal persons, you name it. It was not always easy. On one occasion, I was dispatched to a domestic violence assault in progress. A man had broken his ex-girlfriend’s wrist. His current girlfriend, incoherently drunk, sought to keep me and my partner from entering the house by physically blocking the doorway and pushing us back. Another officer handcuffed her, albeit too loosely, because soon after she began swinging the cuffs above her head with her hands free.

We re-cuffed her, brought her outside, and tried to place her in a police car. Each time we tried, however, she lifted her feet and pressed them against the side of the police car, assuring us that she was not going anywhere without a fight. My sergeant at the time, a man for whom I have the utmost respect, was calm. He knew that her arrest was not worth us having to force her into a police car, and once we had her boyfriend in custody, we released the woman at the scene with a summons to go to court.

My story, however, only addresses part of the issue. The person we let go at the scene was a white woman. My hope and belief is that if she had been a Black man we would have reached the same result. Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Arbery, and now George Floyd, would likely argue differently, if they could.

This led Neil Pladus the law student to conclude:

Police officers, especially in city departments, have proven that they no longer deserve the discretion to choose when a violent apprehension is necessary for low-level offenses. With the President himself [Trump] endorsing excessive force, we must take away force as an option whenever possible. The time has come to move towards a noncustodial, traffic-ticket-like model for non-indictable (or misdemeanor) offenses and a Release on Recognizance (ROR) on scene approach for minor-offense warrants.

Later on in the essay, Neil Pladus the law student concludes in capital letters that "THE CURRENT MODEL [of policing] PROPAGATES WHITE SUPREMACY AND CRIMINALIZES POVERTY."

Transparency and noncustodial arrests are the first steps necessary to address the shameful history of systemic racism in our justice system . . . the era of physically arresting and incarcerating people for community welfare issues belongs in the past.

 It is time for the police to embrace a more limited role with added transparency, less physicality, and more restraint. Physical apprehensions for twenty-dollar violations delegitimize what can be an honorable profession. Justice for George Floyd means at least that minor offenses can never again be the excuse for an execution.

If this is the same Neil Pladus that went on to become a Philly ADA, no wonder Larry Krasner hired the guy!

ADA Pladus, as well as his boss, D.A. Larry Krasner, did not respond to a request for comment.

McNissins, as you might suspect, has a criminal record with a half-dozen guilty pleas. In 2019, he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, but got no further penalty. In 2018, he entered a negotiated plea to giving a false identification to a law enforcement officer and got a year's probation. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to retail theft and was sentenced to nine months in jail.

In 2012, he pleaded guilty to retail theft and was sentenced to 90 days probation. In 2010, two drug charges against McNissins were quashed. But he pleaded guilty twice in 2008, for theft, and then for burglary. 

Meanwhile, Officers Byrd and Hasley are nursing their wounds and wondering what you have to do in this town to get an arrest warrant approved. 

Such is the whacky world of District Attorney Larry Krasner, who's always looking out for the rights of criminals, often at the expense of cops and crime victims.

In this case, they're one and the same.


  1. this idiot of a DA was assigned to my off duty arrest of theft from motor vehicle suspect on christmas 2019. not only was he unprepared but he failed to subpoena the correct owner of the vehicle and couldn’t ask the one question to which the judge eventually ruled in favor of defense counsel. waited over 2 years to have the trial, several prior court notices, all for nothing.

  2. And so now you can get away with assault (and a variety of other crimes that jeopardize public safety) if you're a 302? Nowhere does the law say that. These DA's are writing their own crimes code.

    1. Not only assault but assault on a police officer. It’s situations like this why criminals feel so emboldened. They know they have allies in the DA’s office.

    2. It’s all poppycock! The Police Commisoner and her executive goons should resign. The District Attorney should be put on trial for treason in a public square. If the Police Commisoner had any decency, she would resign. It’s only June… the DA gone and The Police Department top brass gone, would save 150 lives that will be lost in the next 60 days.

  3. After applying the cuffs and shackles, when I'm king of the world, he's dropped into the Schuylkill River. One less egg to fry.

  4. Stop writing COPS use police please

    1. Micro aggression alert. If you're easily offended, you're in the wrong place. Try

  5. Great job Ralph, you really put this kid in his place!

  6. Why don't you use your investigative journalism skills and get the body worn camera for yourself?

    1. Let this idiot DA work the streets of Philly instead of the cushy cop job he had. Probably made one pinch in his career. The comment on the declination in the interest of justice was a disgrace. Biting is intent. It is not like the officers got injured in making an arrest accidentally because he was a 302 etc. Biting is specifically to injure someone. This progressive moron would cry if it happened to him. Karma may be a bitch one day. You wonder why no one wants the job now.

  7. Hey Ralph, how did you get Larry's first grade picture?
    Seems like another one of Krasner's hand picked, top notch choices from the bottom of the barrel.

  8. FYI for a BigTrial article.

    Antifa Members Who Brutally Beat, Robbed Two Latino Marines Will Get No Jail Time – All Felony Charges Dropped by Soros-Backed Philly DA

  9. I have been watching several of the news reports about criminals being given plea bargan deals by progressive DA'S and wonder why the judges are accepting these deals. Seems that many of them are part of the problem. What are your thoughts on these liberal judges that don't follow sentencing guidelines.

  10. The DA’s office is a classic case of “you get what you pay for”. A good defense attorney is worth their weight in gold, a good prosecutor is as well which usually leads to them leaving the DA’s office because when you pay a prosecutor 57k a year you get 57k a year results. Par for the course, but then again, par is exactly what Larry is shooting for.

  11. Considering all the deadly viruses that can be in someone's saliva / mouth these days - biting someone can be tantamount to attempted murder.

    I remember one nite while riding the Broad Street Urinal (errr.. Subway) when a transit police officer tried to arrest someone who then bit him so hard that he ripped off a chunk of the officer's arm - a piece of human flesh which he then - believe it or not - swallowed. It was a very bloody affair.

    Luckily there was a Philadelphia police officer who helped 'subdue' this cannibal. This was during the interval when the former Reading tracks were being re-homed to Suburban Station.

    Only God knows what's happening in this subterranean sewer these days.


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