New Jersey Police Tow Away Amputees Car Leaving Him Stranded on Side of Road

BAYONNE, New Jersey – A city man who recently had part of his foot amputated has filed an internal affairs complaint alleging a Bayonne police officer pulled him over, had his car towed and then heartlessly left him on the side of the road.

The complaint stems from a Nov. 27 incident in which Kieran Walsh, 59, who suffers from diabetes, said he was on his way to pick up his pain medication and was pulled over by an unmarked police car on Avenue C, just north of Andrew Street.

In an interview with The Jersey Journal, Walsh said he beeped his horn at the police car as it came “flying down” Andrew Street near the Avenue C intersection and was subsequently pulled over. “Evidently he didn’t like that,” Walsh added.

Officer Stephen Salot told Walsh he was stopped because he had a handicap placard hanging from his rearview mirror while he was driving, Walsh said, adding that Salot also informed him his vehicle registration was expired and would have to be towed.

“I’m thinking ‘Where the hell am I going to go? I’m going to have to walk five blocks home? I’ll never make it,” said Walsh, who had the toes on his left foot amputated two weeks before the incident because of complications from diabetes.

He told the officer about the surgical procedure and that he couldn’t walk home, but the officer refused to give him any assistance, Walsh said.

“The pain was unbelievable, like it is right now,” said Walsh, who lives on West 15th Street.

By the time he arrived home Walsh’s foot was bleeding — and this week he was back in the hospital because his foot became infected after the ordeal.

The Bayonne Police Department did not respond to a request for comment on Walsh’s allegations, as well as a request to make the officer available for comment.

In desperation, Walsh said he called his wife, Melba, and asked the officer to speak with her.

“When I talked to him I said ‘I understand you have to take the car, but my husband just had his foot amputated, he doesn’t have a walker, he has no way of getting home, can you at least please stay with him or get him home safely,” she said. “And he said to me ‘Look, I’ve got paperwork to do and if you continue to waste my time I can find other things to give him a ticket for.'”

Walsh was issued tickets for the obstructed windshield and for the expired registration. He then spent the next 45 minutes walking home on Avenue C. He said he took breaks on porches and got assistance from fellow pedestrians while crossing intersections.

“(The police officer) just left him there, he didn’t care about his health or his well-being, he had no concern for any issues that he had,” Melba said. “I couldn’t believe this police officer had no concern for him and just left him there.”

Melba, who was at work in Kearny at the time, said she got home as quickly as she could, picked up the impounded car, and went straight to the police headquarters to file the internal affairs complaint.

It is unclear if the officer will face disciplinary action. Kieran and Melba say they do not plan on filing any legal action, just that they want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“To see a man standing in the street — all right, take the car if you have to, I understand that’s the procedure — but my God, have a little compassion, the guy is standing there with his foot amputated,” Melba said. “I have no intentions of suing, I just don’t want to see this ever happen to somebody else again.

“It could have turned out a lot more seriously.”