Once upon a time it may have been flattering to be compared to former Giants stud wide receiver Plaxico Burress. But now that the Super Bowl champ is serving hard time for accidentally shooting himself in the leg last year, things are different. And Christian Dudley, for one, resents any likening of himself to the embattled sports star.
Dudley, an 18-year-old from Manhattan who plays basketball and doesn't own a gun, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the city, saying he didn't shoot himself before cops started taunting him and calling him a Burress impersonator, according to a report.
The teenager said he'd never seen a gun before a bunch of men jumped him while he was visiting his cousin in Harlem earlier this year, reports the Daily News. Dudley, who recently graduated from high school, told authorities he was shot once in the back in the process of the mugging, and the bullet lodged in his knee.
Cops called to the hospital where the Washington Heights resident went for treatment didn't believe his story, however.
If the bullet pierced Dudley's knee, there should be a bullet hole in his pants where it went in, court papers read. But there wasn't a hole, cops say.
For his part, Dudley says his already low-lying pants probably slipped down during the holdup, which explains why there was no tear in his trousers, reports the News.
Cops arrested Dudley for possession of a concealed weapon, accusing him of suffering the same boneheaded mistake as Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the thigh in a nightclub last November when his unregistered gun slipped from his waistband.
For Dudley, the mocking comparisons allegedly began right after he was shot.
"As soon as I went into the precinct and I had the cuffs on they said, 'Oh, is this Plaxico?'" Dudley told the News. "And then when I was in the cell, while they processed me, they called me Plaxico, making fun of me."
Gerald Cohen, Dudley's attorney, filed the lawsuit against the city and the police Monday in Manhattan Federal Court. The court papers allege that aside from causing mortification and fear, the instant arrest prevented Dudley from getting the bullet removed from his leg right away, according to the News.
The city's law department intends to review the lawsuit, which alleges cops violated Dudley's civil rights. The charges against Dudley were dropped last month. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's office says there wasn't enough evidence to prove the case against him beyond reasonable doubt.
Dudley, who has no criminal record and delayed going to college because of the ongoing investigation, plans to start taking classes in January as he recovers from his ordeal, reports the News.
"It was the worst experience ever," Dudley said. "I was treated as a suspect when I was a victim."