An incident involving an alleged snowball has cost New York an estimated $300,000. The money will be split evenly between five plaintiffs who filed a false arrest lawsuit New York City after being held in jail for a period of time in February of 2010. The men were arrested for allegedly "bombarding" an off-duty NYPD officer with snowballs, causing him to fear for his life. The settlement will result with each man receiving $60,000 for their false arrest lawsuit.
The officer who arrested the men, Sgt. Adonis Ramirez, drew his loaded service pistol during the 2010 incident and pointed it at the men, showcasing just how serious the incident was. The men repeatedly denied Ramirez's version of events but were arrested anyway and charged with possession of a weapon and attempted assault. The charges could have landed each of them in jail for up to a year.
These individuals were able to successfully push their false arrest lawsuit in New York City courts. There were a number of deciding factors but two huge red flags caught the attention of everyone involved. First the booking officer "made a mistake with [her] paperwork" and omitted the word "snowball" from the report. This, partially, contributed to the men being charged with possession of a weapon. Secondly, surveillance video surfaced which directly contradicted Sgt. Ramirez's version of events. Ramirez later admitted in court that perhaps he wasn't "bombarded" with snowballs as he had said on previous occasions and that it was just the one snowball that had hit him. The men said that if the snowball did indeed hit Ramirez, it was an accident and he had over reacted.
While this latest New York false arrest story seems, on the surface, to be comical, it highlights the abusive power that exists within legal system; the ability of a relatively minor incident to rapidly escalate into a conjured up crime.
If you've believe you are the victim of similar circumstances, contact a New York City false arrest attorney immediately to discuss your case. You could potentially be awarded substantial monetary compensation for your time in jail which you would rightfully deserve. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.