Paterson Top Stories

Fight Involving Two City Cops Costs Paterson $25,000


PATERSON, NJ – The City Council last week approved a $25,000 payment to settle a lawsuit filed by a man in his 50s who said two off-duty Paterson police officers beat him up outside a 5th Ward bar.

The man, Samuel Rivera, alleged that the officers attacked him when he leaned on their car while having a cigarette outside the Mi Ranchito Bar near the corner of Main and Grand streets at about 2:30 am on Nov. 15, 2010.

The officers, Dragoljub Ilic and Ericka Otera, allegedly were married to each other at the time and sitting in their car together after leaving the bar.

Sign Up for E-News

Ilic started cursing at Rivera and Otera initiated the fight by punching him, according to his attorney, Nancy Lucianna.

The federal lawsuit accuses the officers of using excessive force and making a false arrest. Rivera originally was seeking more than $100,000, according to court papers. Lucianna said her client accepted a lesser payment because the injuries he suffered in the beating were not that extreme.

The officers had maintained that Rivera improperly touched Otera inside the bar and that he and friends fought with the officers over that outside the bar.

Lucianna said her client was at the bar alone and never had any previous trouble with the law.

The council approved the settlement at its meeting on February 19. Some council members had wondered why the city was liable in a fight that happened while the officers were off-duty. But they were told that the city was liable in such instances because nature of law enforcement officers’ work renders them “on duty” at all times.

Ilic was laid off in 2011 and has not rejoined the Paterson police department. Otera remains a Paterson police officer. They are no longer married.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, July 17, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Cancer Center Resource Room, Belleville

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease Support ...

Health & Wellness


Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair


Readers Says Let Developer Bring Paterson Back

July 13, 2018

Dear Editor: 

It is no secret that Paterson is in dire need of revitalizing, restructuring, rebuilding, and, quite frankly, rebranding. As a city, we have struggled to pay our municipal debt, to reduce crime substantially, to create sustainable employment opportunities for our youth and to provide assistance for our city’s most vulnerable residents. 

Today, we face an uphill ...

Pascrell, Renacci, Senators Celebrate House Approval of Congressional Gold Medal to Baseball Pioneer Larry Doby

July 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Jim Renacci (R-OH-16) hailed the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 1861, the Larry Doby Congressional Gold Medal Act. The legislation awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the late baseball star, Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947.

“A proud ...

Newark Lures Amazon With $1 Billion Payroll Tax Incentive

July 12, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Amazon will get a payroll tax break at a cost of $1 billion to the city should the company open its second headquarters here.

It’s one of two ordinances that were approved by the Newark City Council council to sweeten the deal for the corporate giant and stand out among other locations vying for Amazon’s so-called HQ2.

“The City Council has brought Newark a ...

Big Plans for Small Park in Newark’s North Ward

NEWARK, NJ- An under-utilized pocket park on Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward has become a symbol of what can be accomplished in neighborhoods throughout the city through effective public-private partnerships. 

The park’s supporters have big plans for the public space, located directly across the street from the busy North Ward Center, located in an historic ...

I'm Sorry Mr. Jackson... I Am For Real

July 8, 2018

Hello again, Paterson. 

So much has changed since the last time I’ve written… as I’d hoped, Andre Sayegh is our new mayor and it seems an exciting new dawn is upon us. I think when any change comes, especially one as major as this, there is an opportunity for reflection as well as for hope. This election taught me quite a bit, seeing some of the best and worst sides of ...