A Corona man is suing the city and the NYPD after he was thrown to the ground and assaulted by police officers who claimed the man kicked a cat.
Elvis Gomez was standing near a barbershop on 104th Street in Corona last July when a cat brushed up against his leg. Gomez, who is allergic to cats, “gently pushed the cat aside with his leg,” according to the suit.
Police Officer Kessler and another officer who witnessed the event approached him and began to harass Gomez and accused him of kicking the feline. This went on for five minutes, the suit states, before the cops drove away in their patrol vehicle.
The cops came back several minutes later, parked their car about 20 feet away from Gomez’s location and watched him for approximately 30 minutes. When Gomez began walking home, the officers started following him. Officer Kessler approached Gomez and said, “Now that I think of it, I don’t like people who kick cats.”
Kessler grabbed Gomez by his arm and shoulder, spun him around and punched him in the face. During the altercation, Gomez suffered a bloody nose and a chip in his right front tooth.
Kessler and the other officer then threw Gomez to the floor, injuring his knees and arms and also ripped his earring out of his left ear, the suit states.
According to the suit, Gomez never resisted arrest and the officers never told him what he was being arrested for. He was taken to 115th Precinct headquarters and was detained for two days with no food, drink or access to a bathroom.
Gomez was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He claims that he continues to suffer from emotional distress, nightmares and “unwarranted sever anger bouts.”
He is suing the city and the NYPD for violating his civil rights and failing to discipline the officers.