WATCH: Manhattan Man Suffered Serious Head Injury When Aggressive Cop Tackled Him in Pot Bust

February 16, 2017

A plainclothes cop trying to bust an 18-year-old in Chelsea aggressively tackled the young man, sending him down three steps and fracturing his skull, a lawsuit charges.

The split-second clash captured on surveillance video left Bobby Lopez with a permanent head injury. Doctors performed emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, removing part of his skull.

Lopez, who police claim was selling marijuana to his brother, has a permanent indentation to the left side of his head from the surgery.

The video shows a cop landing on top of Lopez, who then lay motionless on the ground in front of his building on W. 17th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. around 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 16.

Lopez, now 19, remembers hearing several people rushing up behind him — and little else.

“Next thing I know, I wake up in the hospital,” Lopez said.

He spent three days at Bellevue Hospital, handcuffed to a bed, Lopez said.

“I was in pain the whole time,” he said.

He was charged with resisting arrest and selling pot to his brother. The charges were tossed on Nov. 21, according to the lawsuit.

An NYPD spokesman said Lopez fell as he was trying to run.

“One of the officers grabbed the suspect’s shirt as he tried to get away and the suspect fell down a stairway pulling the officer along with him,” the spokesman said via email.

Bobby Lopez is seen in the hospital. He says part of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on his brain during emergency surgery. He now has a permanent indentation on his head.

The NYPD noted the Manhattan district attorney’s office reviewed the incident and “determined that there was no criminal conduct” by the police.

“The NYPD is conducting an internal review of the incident, as is the case whenever a prisoner is injured while in custody,” the NYPD statement added.

Ugochukwu Uzoh, a lawyer for the injured man and his brother Jason Perez, said Lopez wasn’t trying to get away from the plainclothes cops.

“That is an absurd claim that he ran from anybody,” Uzoh added. “The video is very clear.”

A cop crashed down against Lopez’s chest — three steps and about 15 feet down, according to the lawsuit. The teen landed on his back with his head slamming on the concrete.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday alleging excessive force and false arrest does not specify the amount of money Lopez is seeking.

After Lopez’s arraignment, he went home and vomited blood. Enid Lopez, 53, said her son was taken to Beth Israel Hospital. He underwent emergency brain surgery to relieve the swelling with doctors removing part of Lopez’s skull. He was in the hospital for about a month.

Bobby Lopez had planned on starting at LaGuardia Community College last fall, but his plans have been put on hold. Lopez loved to play basketball, but his doctor told him he can’t because another head injury could kill him, his mom said.

Jason Perez, 32, came downstairs minutes after cops allegedly tackled his brother. He was also arrested — for misdemeanor marijuana possession. That charge was dropped on Sept. 21, the lawsuit says. The lawyer for the brothers said no drugs were recovered.


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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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