The lawyer for a New York City police officer who allegedly broke into a woman’s Bronx apartment and began attacking her unprovoked tells PEOPLE his client was sleepwalking during the incident.
Officer Eugene Donnelly is charged with three counts of assault and two counts of criminal trespass from the alleged June 2014 incident. His case is currently in pre-trial hearings, where his lawyer, Michael Marinaccio, argued that he was sleepwalking.
Hours before the alleged attack, Mayor De Blasio presented Donnelly with the Police Combat Cross, the NYPD’s second-highest award, for a 2012 incident in which he engaged in a shootout with a crime suspect and apprehended him while off-duty.
Marinaccio, tells PEOPLE, “The episode that occurred in June 2014 was not an alcohol induced blackout but rather an instance of my client being in a sleepwalking state.”
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, upon entering the woman’s house, Donnelly allegedly said, “Shh. It’s okay, just put a shirt on.”
Donnelly then allegedly threw the woman to the ground and began hitting her in the face, according to court documents.
“I’m a good guy,” Donnelly allegedly said. “But sometimes I’m a bad guy.”
Donnelly then allegedly dragged the woman by her armpits into her bedroom, where he allegedly continued to hit her in the face and head.
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In claiming that Donnelly was sleepwalking and was not in control of his actions, Marinaccio points to the fact that he received the award hours before. “That’s what calls into question why a police officer on the best day of his life would do something so out of character. There has to be some sort of explanation,” Marinaccio says.
Marinaccio says that Donnelly was suffering from PTSD brought on by the 2012 shootout. Donelly has allegedly been suffering from various symptoms, including night terrors, night sweats, insomnia and sleepwalking, Marinaccio says.
A spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney’s office tells PEOPLE that the office doesn’t comment on cases pending in the courts.