NEW YORK — An NYPD captain who commanded a Brooklyn police precinct has been charged with an assault in New Jersey that left a woman with “serious injuries,” prosecutors said Thursday.
Capt. Hariton Marachilian faces counts of kidnapping, assault, criminal restraint and criminal coercion in the Dec. 10, 2022, incident in Paterson, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release. The most serious charge in the criminal complaint, first-degree kidnapping, under New Jersey law carries a possible penalty of 15 to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors say they will ask that Marachilian be held while awaiting trial. He was due to appear in court in Paterson on Thursday.
Marachilian, the president of the NYPD’s Middle East & Turkic Society, was suspended by the NYPD Nov. 30 and arrested Dec. 1 after the department learned a warrant for his arrest had been issued, said a Police Department source. He was held at Rikers Island until he was transported to New Jersey on Wednesday.
The name of Marachilian’s victim was withheld in accord with New Jersey law.
Marachilian and a police source told the New York Daily News last week that the NYPD removed him as commander of the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg, stripped him of his gun and badge, and moved him to a desk job after a New Jersey woman filed an order of protection against him.
The woman, a belly dancer, had performed at events for the Turkic & Middle East Society, Marachilian said. He claimed she had misinterpreted the meaning of their relationship.
”She thought it was more than what it was,” Marachilian told the Daily News in an interview Nov. 29, the day before his arrest. The woman “found out I was still married — that’s what sparked her anger.
“She alleged a verbal dispute,” Marichilian said. “But I’m confident — my lawyer is confident — that it will be thrown out. There’s nothing there.”
Marachilian, who joined the NYPD in 2004, also told the Daily News he had just filed his retirement papers.
Upon his arrest Nov. 30, the NYPD suspended Marachilian without pay, putting his pension and other benefits at risk if he leaves the department while still under investigation.
Lawyer Joshua Stevens, who represented Marachilian at his arraignment in New York City before he was sent to Rikers Island, said the captain “surrendered to local authorities and has been fully cooperative.”
Marachilian’s New Jersey lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
The belly dancer referred requests for comment to her lawyer, who said he had no comment.
It wasn’t clear if she is the victim Marachilian allegedly attacked last December, or if the woman is someone else.
Marachilian was removed from commanding the 90th Precinct in July.
In August, the NYPD did the same to the commanding officer of the 50th Precinct in the Bronx, Capt. Filastine Srour. She moved from commanding the precinct that covered Riverdale and other sections of the western Bronx and was transferred to an office.
Marachilian said Srour is like his “little sister.”
Sources said she could face departmental charges, possibly for unauthorized computer searches related to her relationship with Marachilian.
Srour didn’t respond to a request for comment and Chris Monahan, head of the Captains Endowment Association, said he had no comment on either Srour or Marachilian.
In his phone interview with the Daily News, Marachilian said he wanted to retire to spend more time with his family — not because he did anything wrong.
“If there was an issue I would have left right away, when I was modified,” he said. “I’m leaving to raise my kids, basically.
“In the end, the only people who remember you work late are your kids.”
Marachilian has had disciplinary and legal troubles related to his police career.
In 2022, another cop, Capt. Sharon Balli, settled for $800,000 a lawsuit in which she accused a top police commander of not investigating claims of sexual harassment she made against other cops, including Marachilian.
Balli claimed that when Marachilian was assigned to Manhattan South Narcotics, Marachilian told her she needed “more sex in her life.” “Sex is good for stress,” Marachilian allegedly told her.
Marachilian was transferred out of Manhattan South Narcotics in 2020.