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New York Man Paid $120,000 for Police Shove through Storefront Window

A New York man was paid $120,000 to settle his claims that a police officer pushed him through a storefront window.

On May 6, 2012, Brett Fasulo, 31, hailed a taxicab in Queens, New York. Soon after entering the cab, Fasulo realized he did not have any cash and could not pay the cab fare.

Fasulo asked the cab driver to stop at an ATM machine, but the driver refused. Instead, he stopped the cab and ordered Fasulo to get out. He then called police.

New York City police officers Louis Fishman and Willio Lors responded to the call and pursued Fasulo, who was running down the sidewalk because he believed the cab driver intended to attack him with a crowbar. He heard a man shout "Stop!"

As Fasulo turned to see who shouted, Fishman pushed him through a plate glass window. Fasulo was knocked unconscious and he sustained lacerations to his back, right arm, right thumb and his thumb tendon was severed.

Fasulo was arrested, booked and taken to a hospital where he underwent surgical repair of his thumb and needed 60-70 stitches to close his wounds. He needed a second thumb surgery. Fasulo's injuries prevented him from working as a deliveryman for about 17 weeks.

The charges against Fasulo were ultimately dismissed and he brought federal suit against Fishman, Lors, the City of New York and the New York City Police Department. He alleged that Fishman and Lors used excessive force against him, in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. He also alleged state law assault and battery claims. Fasulo sought damages for past and future pain and suffering.

Fasulo claimed that Fishman and Lors did not identify themselves, and he was not aware that he was being chased by police. He also claimed that he did not resist or threaten the officers.

Fishman claimed that he lightly pushed Fasulo after Fasulo attempted to punch him. He claimed that Fasulo's punch missed him by just an inch. Lors estimated that the punch fell two to three feet short of Fishman.

After the claims against Lors were dismissed on summary judgment, the City of New York agreed to pay Fasulo $120,000 to settle his claims. Fasulo was represented by attorney Lawrence B. Saftler, New York, NY. See: Fasulo v. City of New York, USDC No. CV 13 2222 (ED NY 2015).

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Related legal case

Fasulo v. City of New York,