DEER PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island school bus driver who claims he was sick and not drunk when he was arrested for driving while intoxicated earlier this year is suing Nassau County for $10 million.
Michael Asseng, 48, was behind the wheel of a mini school bus in January when he crashed into a parked car in Farmingdale. The four children on board were not injured.
The Deer Park man said he passed three Breathalyzer tests, but was arrested for DWI and taken to a police precinct when he said he should have been rushed to a hospital.
“Paramedics said to the officer, ‘How many times are you going to continue to Breathalyze this man? He’s not drunk, he needs to go to a hospital.’ That police officer told them to get lost,” Asseng said.
Asseng claims it took police eight hours to take him to the hospital and by that time he nearly died of blood poisoning.
Asseng said he ended up in a coma for two weeks.
“I was in the hospital for 46 days and eventually, I was in there so long I lost the ability to walk,” Asseng told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “I had to learn how to walk again.”
Asseng said the last few months have been a nightmare.
“Myself and my family have been subjected to ridicule,” Asseng said. “My neighbor seems to enjoy calling me a drunk driver.”
Asseng is now suing Nassau County and the police department for $10 million.
The police department said because Asseng had glassy eyes and slurred speech and could have been under the influence of drugs, Hall reported.
“There would never have been an arrest anywhere else in the State of New York, much less the country. However in Nassau County they seem to arrest first and ask questions later,” Asseng told 1010 WINS.
Newsday reported the charges against Asseng have since been dropped, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.
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