NYPD Cop Known For Bursting Into Homes Sued 23 Times Costing City $280G

Detective David Grieco

They came before the sun rose, about a dozen cops in plainclothes who broke down the door to an East New York building and burst into a first-floor apartment.

Inside — sound asleep — were Luis Vargas, 54, his sister, Lillian Vargas, 53, their elderly mom and a 5-year-old niece.

They were jolted awake as cops tore through their apartment, breaking two TVs, emptying containers of rice and pulling clothes out of closets, the family said.

Victims of ‘Bullethead’ cop recount shaky busts, traffic stops

One of the men — who the family later found out was Detective David Grieco — began barking questions at them.

“Where’s the guns?” he demanded, according to Luis Vargas. “Where’s the drugs?”

Ultimately, the cops — who did not have a search warrant — found nothing more than two bottles of sedatives for Lillian Vargas, who said she tried without luck to show police the paperwork from her doctor to prove the pills were legally prescribed.

But it made no difference to the officers, who handcuffed her and dragged her into the January cold dressed only in a robe.

Cop accused of misconduct failed to record actions in memo book

Her brother, clad in his shorts, got the same treatment.

At the 75th Precinct stationhouse, Luis Vargas said he repeatedly told Grieco that he was a recovering heroin addict, not a current user — and certainly not a gun dealer.

Grieco, a 12-year veteran assigned to the 75th Precinct, refused to listen, the siblings said.

They were charged with drug possession and arraigned.

Luis Vargas was released immediately, but his sister was sent to Rikers Island until her family came up with $750 the following day to bail her out.

The next time the pair went to court, their cases were dismissed.

A year later, they still don’t have enough money to fix the busted doors.

Grieco, meanwhile, went on to become one of the top overtime earners in the NYPD last year. His $73,000 in extra pay pushed his 2017 salary to more than $190,000.

He may wind up costing the city even more.

The Vargas siblings last month filed suit against Grieco and the other officers with him the morning of the Jan. 31, 2017, raid. The city has denied the allegations.

For Grieco, known on the streets — and not affectionately — as Bullethead, it’s the 23rd time his name has appeared as a defendant in a lawsuit. So far, the city’s ponied up more than $280,000 to settle suits involving the hard-charging cop.

All but one of the suits involved an arrest, with those who filed suits cleared of all criminal charges in 19 of the cases. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute two of the other cases.

“He is notorious,” said Wale Mosaku, a civil rights lawyer who represents nine people in four pending lawsuits involving Grieco.

“Based on what my clients tell me, his specialty is barging into people’s homes.”

When the Daily News profiled Grieco in 2013, he was part of the 75th Precinct’s anti-crime team, a crew that fellow cops say worked hard to rid the neighborhood of drugs, guns and bad guys — but that critics complained had a habit of breaking the law while trying to enforce it.

At the time, Grieco and other members of the team were the subject of five Internal Affairs Bureau investigations sparked by complaints from residents who accused them of illegal apartment searches and the theft of jewelry and thousands of dollars in cash, according to court papers, NYPD IAB documents and police sources, The News reported in 2013.

At least nine criminal prosecutions were compromised or dropped because of the allegations, The News reported then. Other cases were dismissed after the story ran, according to a source.

The NYPD refused — back then and now — to say what came of the IAB probes.

But through sources and documents, The News was able to find some information.

Grieco escaped virtually unscathed in three of the probes — and the results of two others remain a mystery.

In six other complaints — only recently discovered by The News — Grieco also got off light.

He was only cited twice — out of nine investigations where The News obtained the final result — for searching a home without a warrant.

He was docked vacation days — up to 10 — in each of the incidents.

But the most serious allegation against him in one of the cases — the theft of $4,300 — was not substantiated.

Instead, Grieco was dinged for far less serious infractions — which carry few serious penalties.

Eight times he failed to note in his memo book the police action which later became the subject of a complaint.

In three of those cases he also didn’t file a stop, question and frisk report.

Letters noting the infractions were placed in his personnel file.

For full story visit: http://www.nydailynews.com/amp/new-york/nypd-bullethead-detective-sued-23-times-costing-city-280g-article-1.3881366?__twitter_impression=true

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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