Councilman Rodriguez Gives Details of His Occupy Wall Street Arrest

"I was assaulted," Rodriguez says while leaving courthouse Tuesday evening.

A New York City councilman arrested during a sweep of the Occupy Wall Street encampment Tuesday says he was detained for more than 17 hours and denied access to his lawyer until just before his release.    

Rodriguez, who represents upper Manhattan, held a press conference Wednesday to talk about his arrest.

Rodriguez said he was on Broadway, two blocks away from the park, when he ran into a group of police officers and protesters. He crossed to the other side of the street, where he said officers began pushing him back.

"I didn't even have choice, the force was so strong, and they was pushing me," he said Wednesday.

He said he couldn't finish identifying himself as a city council member before he was knocked to the ground.

"And then suddenly, a police officer jumped from the middle of the street. He threw his body into me, hitting my head in the street," he said as he pointed to a small wound on his forehead.

Rodriguez said there was a high-ranking officer who knows him nearby, but the officer did nothing to stop the arrest.

Councilman Jumaane Williams said he witnessed his colleague's arrest, and says he saw the councilman bleeding on his forehead before being led off by police.

After being transported to the precinct with others arrested, he was left alone in the vehicle for two hours, and was not allowed to see his attorney for 13 hours.

"We were denied again and again, and frankly given the runaround all day by the New York City police department," said Leo Glickman, Rodriguez's attorney.

Protester Joachim Castro told NBC New York he was in the same jail cell with the councilman, who appeared angry.

"His hair was out of place, and he had some bruises," Castro said, gesturing toward the side of the face.

Rodriguez was released without bail after being charged with resisting arrest.

A court complaint said Rodriguez tried to push past a metal police barricade and tried to keep from being handcuffed.     

Rodriguez faces misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and obstructing government administration. He's due back in court Jan. 20.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us