Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

$5M in Damages Sought Over NYC Jaywalking Arrest

The claim alleges that officers pushed the 84-year-old against a wall, beat him and threw him to the ground, causing him to lose consciousness

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lawyers for an elderly man who was arrested for jaywalking filed a claim on Monday for $5 million in damages against the NYPD, alleging he was assaulted by officers during the arrest and had to be hospitalized for his injuries.

    The claim was filed against the NYPD and the city of New York by Kang Wong. The claim alleges that officers pushed the 84-year-old against a wall, beat him and threw him to the ground, causing him to lose consciousness. Wong was hospitalized for his injuries and was bleeding from the head.

    A lawyer for Wong said at a press conference Monday that Wong was crossing the street at the crosswalk with other pedestrians on a Sunday afternoon when he was stopped by a police officer who was waiting for him on the other side. The officer asked for his ID. Wong, a Chinese immigrant who speaks limited English, understood the word "ID" and handed it to the officer.

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    The NYPD started cracking down on pedestrians trying to cross the street in the middle of the block. It comes after at least 11 people have been killed since the start of the new year. Gus Rosendale reports.

    "After a few minutes, Mr. Wong asked for his ID back in Chinese and also made a hand gesture to get it back," said Hazel Chin, his attorney. "The next thing he knew was the officer had apparently radioed probably for backup, and a bunch of cops then showed up. The next thing he knew, he was being taken down to the ground."

    Through an interpreter, Wong said he injured his head, the side of his face, an elbow, his ribs and his back during the arrest.

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio today said NYPD commanders have the right to go after pedestrians who ignore the law, even after one senior citizen apparently got hurt in a scuffle with cops, caught on video obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York. Andrew Siff has the story.

    "How could this happen in this city today?" said another attorney for Wong, Sanford Rubenstein. "We have a mayor who is a proud progressive. We have a police commissioner who has committed to improve community relations. All criminal charges against Mr. Wong must be dropped."

    NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has said he isn't aware of any excessive force used by officers.

    "Some of the witnesses involved, including members of the press, gave a sense that the injuries he received were from a fall to the ground," Bratton said. "That will be fully investigated as you would expect with an injury."

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