A disgraced ex-New York City police officer who planted drugs on an innocent couple escaped almost certain prison time by begging and crying at his sentencing.
Former detective Jason Arbeeny was convicted in November of planting crack in the car of the couple during an arrest in 2007. He faced up to four years in prison at his sentencing on Thursday.
The New York Daily News said Arbeeny was remorseful and pleaded for mercy from the judge.
“Sir, I am begging you, please don't send me to jail," Arbeeny said through tears. “My oath went down the window, my pride went out the window... I can't look at myself in the mirror anymore."
Arbeeny's display shocked Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach.
"I frankly didn't expect the defendant, at the 11th hour, to be making these claims," he told the court, forcing him to change his mind about Arbeeny's punishment.
"I came into court this morning determined that the nature of this crime requires some jail time," he said. Instead, he sentenced Arbeeny to five years probation and 300 hours of community service.
The victims were not too happy with the judge's about-face -- they had requested that Arbeeny spend at least some time behind bars.
Asked if it was a just sentence, victim Yvelisse DeLeon said, "Not really."