MAYS LANDING — An off-duty Lakewood police officer who assaulted a casino worker during a verbal altercation at an Atlantic City bar was sentenced Friday to three years’ probation.
A jury cleared Kevin Seunath of a third-degree aggravated assault charge last year but found him guilty of simple assault, a disorderly persons offense.
He must serve 100 hours of community service and pay the victim’s medical bills of about $49,000.
Before Superior Court Judge Michael Donio announced his sentence, he said that — based on video of the incident, and testimony of witnesses and the victim’s doctor — if he could have increased the penalty, he would do so in this instance.
Brian Jackson underwent two surgeries — and may need a third — due to the damage he suffered to his left eye in the April 18, 2011, attack.
Jackson, who had been drinking, approached a table of women at a bar in Harrah’s and said some inappropriate things, according to video of the incident and witness testimony. The women’s husbands were off-duty Lakewood officers.
Eventually, Seunath approached Jackson at the bar and, after a verbal exchange, grabbed Jackson by the neck. Jackson ended up on the floor and was punched six or seven times in the eye.
The off-duty officers later refused to stop for uniformed security officers or a State Police trooper working in plain clothes.
Donio said they believed they were above the law.
The 100 hours of community service includes a requirement that Seunath — who is still a police officer — speak at four Ocean County high schools. The talk would be about how to defuse a situation a police officer may encounter on or off duty.
The schools will have to submit reports to probation and the court about the talk.
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