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Cop asks: 'Head first or feet first?'

Jason Kennedy told a federal jury that a narcotics cop lifted and leaned him over a third-floor balcony while threatening him.

Accused narcotics officers Thomas Liciardello (left) and Michael Spicer.
Accused narcotics officers Thomas Liciardello (left) and Michael Spicer.Read more

JASON KENNEDY told a federal jury yesterday how narcotics cop Michael Spicer lifted and leaned him over Kennedy's third-floor Old City balcony, and asked: "Head first or feet first?"

Which way did you say you wanted to go? Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek asked.

"I said, 'Feet first,' and he said, 'You're not such a dumb f--- after all,' " Kennedy testified.

Spicer didn't throw Kennedy off the back balcony of his condo, on Front Street near Callowhill, on that Feb. 24, 2010, evening, Kennedy said. But Kennedy said he was "up over the balcony like [Spicer] was going to drop me."

Moments before, Kennedy said, he was in his condo, when a friend who was coming over to buy marijuana buzzed the building's front door. Kennedy let him in.

But Kennedy said when he went into the hallway outside his apartment to let his friend in through another security door, he saw a man he didn't know - Spicer - "crouched under the door," which had a small glass window.

He said he rushed to go back into his apartment, but had to get his key out to unlock the door, and during that time, Spicer used a sledgehammer and broke the glass window to open the hallway door. Kennedy got into his apartment and was about to shut the door, but Spicer "stuck his hand in through the opening," he said.

Kennedy said he thought Spicer, who was dressed in a plaid long-sleeved shirt, was a robber, so he grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him to the tiled floor. Spicer then punched Kennedy in the mouth, loosening one of his teeth and making him hit his head on the floor, Kennedy said.

Afterward, Spicer swung the sledgehammer as if he were about to hit Kennedy with it, Kennedy said.

He said he then surrendered.

Spicer asked "where the coke was at and where the guns were at," Kennedy said. Kennedy told the jury that although he sold marijuana and had six pounds of the drug in the apartment at the time, he never sold cocaine or had a gun.

Spicer at that point identified himself as a cop and cuffed him behind his back, Kennedy said. He said Spicer then pushed him out to the balcony and wanted info on other drug dealers, but he didn't give up any names. Then, Spicer held him by the back of his pants and held him over the railing, Kennedy said.

He said Officer Thomas Liciardello came in and went into his bedroom. Soon after, Officer Perry Betts arrived and took him to another bedroom, Kennedy said. "He tried to convince me in a nice way to give up other people" who were drug dealers, but Kennedy said he didn't. Officer Brian Reynolds also came, but did "nothing," he said. Kennedy was arrested on drug-possession charges that night.

Spicer, Liciardello, Betts and Reynolds are among six ex-narcotics cops on trial, accused of robbing suspected drug dealers.

Kennedy said when he returned to his condo days later, $210,000 he had in cash was gone. Also missing: a Calvin Klein suit.

On a property receipt, Liciardello noted that $130,970 was seized.

Under cross-examination, Jack McMahon, Reynolds' lawyer, questioned Kennedy's story, contending it was not believable.