New York News
Family sues Roosevelt Island officers after beating
NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are disturbing allegations against the group of deputized civilians who are supposed keep the peace on one of New York City's most iconic but isolated communities.
The public safety officers on Roosevelt Island are now being sued by the family of a young man, claiming they nearly beat him to death for no reason.
"They hurt my child, unbelievable, inside and out, hurt me, inside and out," said Monica Vega, the defendant's mother.
Monica Vega was speaking for her son, 20-year-old Anthony Jones, who says he's still too weary to talk about what happened.
But his lawyer says it was only two weeks ago that Anthony was just waiting for a friend behind a building on River Road, when suddenly, for no reason at all, the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officers, whose job it is to protect this community, instead rushed up on Anthony and attacked him.
"He was maced, he was beaten, he was kicked, he was punched," said Michael Lamonsoff, attorney.
They say Anthony had committed no crime.
He had cuts to his face, broken teeth and fractured ribs, and yet he was handcuffed to his hospital bed for five days after his lungs filled with blood.
"My son almost died in their hands for nothing at all. He's not a criminal, he doesn't have a record," Vega said.
Roosevelt Island is not policed by the NYPD.
These "peace officers" who can write tickets and make arrests are appointed by a state run authority called the Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation.
They had no comment on Anthony's case, but ask anyone around there and they'll tell you, it's a problem.
"What happened to Anthony Jones in Roosevelt Island, is not an isolated incident, this has been going on, for years," Lamonsoff said.
It's been allegedly happening with no accountability, but not if Anthony's mother can help it.
"I want them out of my community, away from my children," Vega said.
She wants a criminal investigation.
"Because if I wouldn't be standing here right now, I could've been planning a funeral for my son," Vega said.
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