WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Westchester businessman filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing White Plains cops of police brutality.
He claims officers roughed him up for no reason, and as CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, much of the incident was caught on camera.
Silent surveillance video shows 72-year-old Charles Pateman trying to get into an apartment building elevator in January, but White Plains police stopped him from going up to help his fiancee, who he said was having a dispute with her adult daughter.
“She called police, I race right over, I’m told I can’t go up to my family. I tried to explain that I could resolve this immediately,” he said.
That’s when officers decided to put handcuffs on the successful real estate developer.
“I’m slammed into the wall, glasses fly, pushed to the ground, just crazy,” he said.
It got worse as they tried to walk him outside, officers’ body cameras captured video and audio of the encounter.
“Ow, ow, ow,” he said as he fell down, “I hit my head.”
“You didn’t hit your head, stand up or we’ll drag you out,” a voice replies.
“Then they’re picking me up by the arms, the pain was unbelievable,” he recalled.
Pateman said he injured his knee, both shoulders and his back. The handcuffs were so tight they left him bleeding from the wrists.
“They’re too tight, okay, I can’t move,” he said.
“They’re not built for comfort,” a voice replied.
On Tuesday, outside the White Plains Police Headquarters, Pateman’s attorney announced a $3-million federal lawsuit accusing cops of violating his civil rights.
“Instead of allowing Mr. Pateman to go and see his fiancee, the officers viciously, and brutally slammed him against the wall and then handcuffed him,” Randolph McLaughlin said.
No one from the city or police department would address the lawsuit on camera for CBS2, because they generally don’t comment on pending litigation.
A spokesperson for the city did address the issue in a statement.
“We have not yet received the papers in the lawsuit, but we are aware of the case and intend to vigorously defend it in court,” Karen Pasquale said.
Pateman said he wants to send a message.
“If this could happen to me, it could happen to anyone,” he said.
He hopes it will never happen again.
Pateman was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, but a judge ruled the charges will be dismissed in 6 months if he doesn’t get arrested again.