NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An elderly man who was injured during a jaywalking offense wants to sue the city for $5 million.
The cops were doing a safety campaign near 96th and Broadway in January. Kang Chung Wong, 85, was stopped and accused of jaywalking. It escalated, partly because Wong doesn’t speak English, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
Police insisted that officers did not strike Wong deliberately, and that when an officer pulled out a summons book and began writing a ticket, a struggle ensued.
During the struggle, police claimed, Wong fell to the ground and struck his head.
“The next thing you know, he’s viciously thrown against the wall, he has neurological injuries, he’s unconscious,” Wong’s lawyer Sanford Rubenstein said. “Thrown to the ground, his head is gashed open, all over alleged jaywalking?”
Wong claimed the signal was green when he stepped off the curb, but may have turned red when he got to the other side.
Through an interpreter, Wong says his memory is foggy and he’s been afraid to cross the street since.
Wong’s son, Wei Wong, says his father now has memory problems.
“Constantly looking over his shoulder whenever he’s crossing the street,” he said.
A police crackdown on jaywalking came after three traffic deaths nearby. But now, amid the growing controversy over enforcement of minor offenses, Wong’s lawyer describes it through the prism of broken windows.
“This case is a perfect example of why this policy has to be ended,” Rubenstein said. “Broken windows is a broken policy.”
The city law department says it has not been served with the suit yet.
The city ruled that Wong would not be prosecuted in April.
As CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer reported in January, Wong’s family threatened to sue the city, and the case has raised questions about police conduct in a city that is trying to be more respectful of its diverse populations.
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