A Brooklyn man mistakenly arrested last week for hitting a police officer with a car in Times Square plans to sue the NYPD and New York State Troopers, his attorney said on Monday.
Shreaf Taha, 25, was dragged into custody in a case of mistaken identity after police thought he hit a cop conducting traffic stops earlier this month.
The officer was knocked to the ground as he approached a Mercedes-Benz sedan near the intersection of Seventh Avenue and West 43rd Street on Jan. 13.
Taha’s attorney, Arthur Hill, said the Brooklyn construction worker was driving over the Verazzano Bridge, heading home to Bay Ridge after seeing a movie with his girlfriend early Wednesday, when his car was surrounded by several NYPD and New York State police cars.
Amid bright lights, Taha was forced to get out of the car and drop to his hands and knees before being brought to the 68th Precinct in Brooklyn, where he was held for nearly three hours.
“I think the police made a mistake, they had a rush to judgment and they were wrong,” Hill said. “He was a victim, it was terrifying for him. They terrorized him.”
Hill said Taha also drives a Mercedes and had a similar license plate to the car that was involved.
Later that day, 20-year-old Arfhy Santos and 24-year-old William Lopez were arrested for the incident. On Thursday, police said Santos was charged with attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment; Lopez was charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
Hill said he has prepared a notice of claim and plans to file it with the city later this week.