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Elderly Jaywalker Claims Police Roughed Him Up, Sues NYPD, City For $5M

Kang Chun Wong, 84, Says He Was Unconscious, Bloody After Jan. 19 Incident
Sanford Rubenstein describes his injuries to reporters on Jan. 27, 2014. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Sanford Rubenstein describes his injuries to reporters on Jan. 27, 2014. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An elderly Chinese immigrant is suing the NYPD and the city, alleging that police officers roughed him up after he jaywalked on the Upper West Side earlier this month.

At a news conference announcing the lawsuit Monday in Downtown Brooklyn, Kang Chun Wong, 84, described through a translator the injuries he sustained to his back, elbow, ribs, face and head, which suffered a gash that needed to be closed with staples. Gruesome photos of Wang’s injuries covered the desk of his attorney at the event, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

Wong, a retired restaurateur, said he was crossing Broadway at West 96th Street on a green light Jan. 19, but it turned red while he was still in the intersection. When he got to the sidewalk, officers demanded his ID, but when Wong asked for it back, he was handcuffed, pushed against the wall of a building and then to the ground, he alleges. Wong said he was unconscious and bloody after the incident. He also said his family had no idea where he was after he was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital for treatment.

Wong was ticketed for jaywalking and charged with obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, cops said.

Police were cracking down on jaywalkers in the area after three pedestrians were killed this month at the intersection.

Rubenstein has filed a $5 million lawsuit on Wang’s behalf, saying the encounter left the man hurt, humiliated and scared.

The attorney said he cannot believe the incident happened just a few weeks after NYPD Commissioner William Bratton pledged to improve police-community relations.

“How could this happen in this city today?” Rubenstein said. “We have a mayor who is a proud progressive. We have a police commissioner who has committed to improved community relations.”

Bratton has said Wong fell, but added that Internal Affairs is looking into the incident.

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