PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence Police Captain Stephen Gencarella put in for retirement on Friday, one day after he was sentenced for assaulting a handcuffed suspect last year.
Gencarella was sentenced to a year of probation on Thursday after pleading no contest to the misdemeanor charge in Providence District Court. He was also ordered to have no contact with Armando Rivas, the man whose head he slammed into the pavement during an arrest last summer. The incident was captured on video.
With more than 25 years on the force, Gencarella exceeds the required two decades to collect a full pension from the city.
Mayor Brett Smiley is not planning to try and take action against Gencarella’s pension despite the assault case, according to communications director Patricia Socarras.
Had he not retired, Gencarella was facing possible termination for his actions. Former Police Chief Hugh Clements had given the captain notice of his firing last year, which Gencarella was planning to challenge under the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.
Gencarella was also receiving his full $105,000 salary tax-free while his criminal case was ongoing, because he was on injured-on-duty status.
Video from the July 3, 2022 incident showed Gencarella grab Rivas’ hair and slam his face into the pavement after arresting him during the city’s fireworks event at India Point Park.
Rivas was being arrested after he allegedly became “irate” because police were towing his car, which was double-parked.