An off-duty NYPD sergeant who allegedly shot and injured his wife’s personal trainer when he found the two of them talking outside the couple’s home in the early morning has been pictured for the first time.
Sgt Justin Ellis, 35, turned himself in after being indicted on a felony count of second-degree assault.
He was arraigned in Nassau County District Court on Wednesday over the October 2019 armed confrontation with fitness instructor Patrick Catania.
The NYPD officer was released on his own recognizance pending his next court date scheduled for January 7. If convicted as charged, he could face up to seven years in prison.
NYPD Sgt Justin Ellis, 35, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault for allegedly shooting his wife’s trainer outside their New York home in October 2019. Pictured with his wife
The trainer, Patrick Catania, 30, was indicted on attempted assault and other counts for allegedly trying to hit Ellis with a bat outside the officer’s home (pictured)
On Wednesday, Catania, 30, was also arraigned on charges of attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and criminal trespass for allegedly threatening Ellis with a baseball bat.
He is due back in court on January 8, and if convicted of the top charge against him, he faces up to four years in prison.
According to a statement from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office obtained by DailyMail.com, in the early hours of October 25, 2019, Catania was allegedly trespassing on the grounds of Ellis’ home on Stirrup Path in Seaford, which the NYPD sergeant shares with his wife and children.
Later that night, Ellis arrived home and encountered Catania talking to his wife outside the family’s home.
According to the New York Daily News, his wife had not expected him home and thought he was working a night shift.
Both men turned themselves in at the Nassau County Police Department on Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to their respective charges
Ellis and Catania got into an argument and, according to an indictment, the personal trainer grabbed a baseball bat and attempted to strike the cop.
The off-duty police sergeant allegedly shot at Catania twice, striking him once in the chest.
Catania survived and was treated for his injury at a nearby hospital. Both men called 911 following the incident.
They turned themselves in at the Nassau County Police Department on Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.
Ellis’ defense attorney, Andrew Quinn, told Newsday the shooting was justified.
‘We believe that his use of his weapon was justified given the circumstances,’ the lawyer stated.
Ellis allegedly returned home to find Catania talking to his wife outside their residence on Stirrup Path (pictured)
Catania’s attorney, Jason Russo, previously stated that his client’s relationship with Ellis’ wife was not romantic and refuted claims from local reports stating that his client was in the house.
Russo also claimed that it was Ellis who accosted Catania after following him and that his client only raised his bat when the cop pulled the gun.
The NYPD confirmed that Ellis has been suspended without pay. He has been on the force since 2007, most recently serving in the 101st Precinct in Queens.
Public records indicate that over the course of his career in law enforcement, Ellis has racked up eight complaints encompassing 24 allegations of misconduct, five of which have been substantiated.
The City of New York has settled two separate lawsuits involving Ellis for a total of $200,000, according to CapStat.nyc, which is a database that includes information on complaints and lawsuits involving NYPD officers.
In one case, a 55-year-old black man accused Ellis and five other officers of punching him in the face without provocation during an arrest in 2011, leaving the man with a fractured jaw and other injuries that required two surgeries.