Woman was shackled to a hospital bed for 17 days after cops broke her leg during a wrongful arrest
A Brooklyn landlord says she was shackled to a hospital bed for 17 days after cops broke her leg during a wrongful arrest in the hallway of her Flatbush building.
Karen Brim, 42, claims an NYPD officer threw her to the ground, severely fracturing her left leg, after she identified herself as the owner of the Utica Avenue building and asked why the cops were there, according to a new lawsuit.
The single mother was arrested and brought to Kings County Hospital, where she needed multiple surgeries, plates and screws to fix the bones broken in a tussle with Officer Timothy Reilly.
Adding insult to injury, court papers say, was the way police restrained her for more than two weeks during her hospital stay, with one officer posted outside her room.
“She was hand- and ankle-cuffed to her hospital bed,” lawyer Marshall Bluth told The Post. “They would not allow family or friends to enter. She wasn’t presented before a judicial hearing officer for 17 days. It was pretty egregious.”
A state court spokesman said the 24-hour standard for arraignment in criminal cases doesn’t apply when defendants are hospitalized.
But Brim was conscious and incapable of fleeing because of her injuries and could have been arraigned at any point, Bluth said.
“She’s not a flight risk. She cannot run out of the hospital. There’s no need to handcuff and ankle-cuff her. Being handcuffed to a bed — it’s like being a caged animal. It’s outrageous,” he said. “It’s beyond belief. Not for one day, not for one week, but for 17 days?”
The confrontation with cops unfolded on April 30, 2012, when Reilly, Officer Ralph Giordano and an unidentified partner spotted four neighborhood teens hanging out on a roof adjacent to Brim’s building. They chased the youths into Brim’s building, entering via the roof, as Brim was mopping a hallway, according to a police source and Brim’s Brooklyn federal court lawsuit.
Brim claims things got physical when she protested that the kids were visitors and not trespassing.
Cops maintain that Brim was the violent one — swinging a broom at Reilly, smacking him in the head and putting her hand around his neck, according to a criminal complaint.
The cops arrested the teens — Brenado Simpson, Clifton Bailey, Robean Romans and Distephano Destin — for trespassing. The charges were later dropped, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.
Brim was charged with assault, resisting arrest, menacing, harassment and obstructing governmental administration. Her criminal case is pending.
Brim insists in court papers the cops lied.
“She’s mopping the common areas, as she does once every two weeks or so, and suddenly police officers descend from the roof into her building and proceed to beat her up, basically,” Bluth said. “No one really knows for sure why they did this. They basically stormed her building.”
The cops did not have a warrant, according to Brim, who’s owned the three-story building for more than a decade and operates a beauty salon on the first floor.
Brim is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit, which accuses the officers of using “unnecessary and unreasonable” force, false arrest, falsifying evidence and violating her constitutional rights.
It was the second time in a year Reilly was accused of being violent with the public. Brooklyn resident Samuel Semple sued the city last year after Reilly allegedly “forcibly dragged” him out of a restaurant. Semple, who suffered minor injuries, got a $10,000 settlement in January.
The city will review Brim’s allegations once it gets a copy of the lawsuit, a Law Department spokeswoman said.