Officer Charged With Lying About Man’s Arrest
By Andy Newman
May 31, 2012
The homeowner was accused of trying to run over a police officer in the driveway outside his house. He was charged with felony reckless endangerment and spent three nights in jail.
The homeowner said that the police officer made the whole thing up and that he had video to prove it.
On Thursday, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office announced that a grand jury had sided with the homeowner, indicting the police officer, Diego A. Palacios, on five kinds of illegal lying, one of them a felony.
The case goes back to February, when the homeowner, John Hockenjos, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority engineer who lives in Sheepshead Bay, had an interaction with Officer Palacios and another officer in the driveway, which has been the subject of a bitter property feud between Mr. Hockenjos and a neighbor.
According to a criminal complaint sworn by Officer Palacios, Mr. Hockenjos drove his sedan “at high rate of speed” toward the officer, creating a “grave risk of death” and causing the officer “to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by defendant’s vehicle.”
But Mr. Hockenjos proffered a security video that showed something altogether different: Mr. Hockenjos pulling slowly into the driveway, where the officers and his neighbor are standing, and stopping. Neither officers nor neighbor budge. The video also shows Mr. Hockenjos being led off in handcuffs several minutes later.
“I’ve never seen this crystal-clear example of a false arrest,” Mr. Hockenjos’s lawyer, Craig Newman, told reporters at the time.
On Thursday, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said Officer Palacios, 30, an eight-year veteran of the force, had been indicted May 15 on charges of offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records, making an apparently sworn false statement, perjury and making a punishable false written statement. He also was charged with official misconduct. He has been suspended.
The false business record offense, of which Officer Palacios is charged with two counts, is a felony.
All charges against Mr. Hockenjos have been dropped, prosecutors said. NYT
Friday, June 01, 2012
Security Video Saves NY Homeowner From Wrongful Arrest