Local News

Ex-officer jailed after plea in assault

Posted November 2, 2009 8:03 a.m. EST
Updated November 2, 2009 4:17 p.m. EST

— A former Raleigh police officer entered an Alford plea Monday for the assault of a man in his estranged wife's apartment last February.

An Alford plea means the accused maintains his innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to possibly win a conviction

Andrew R. Caruana, 33, was sentenced to a week in jail on misdemeanor charges of assault by pointing a gun, simple assault and communicating threats.

Prosecutor Phillip Cowan said Caruana, who was off-duty, went to his  estranged wife's apartment on Feb. 24, forced his way into the bedroom, hit her friend Paul Cardone and pointed a gun at him.

Caruana's lawyer argued that his client dropped the gun and picked it up, but never pointed it at Cardone.

"This was a horrible, horrible mistake on his part," defense attorney Bill Young said. "It's been an extremely painful experience for him and his family."

Since the alleged assault, Caruana and his wife have reconciled, Young said.

"He's ready to move on ... wants to continue healing process with his family."

Caruana resigned from the Raleigh Police Department in June. He had been with department for nine years, risen to the rank of senior officer and most recently been assigned to the Gang Suppression Unit.