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NYPD cuffed man to hospital bed over unpaid tickets: suit

NYPD cuffed man to hospital bed over unpaid tickets: suit

A Bronx man is suing the NYPD for $10 million, claiming New York’s Finest handcuffed him to a hospital bed for a week over unpaid parking tickets.

An explosive federal lawsuit alleges that “agitated” cops violated Kevin Saulnier’s civil rights after the 24-year-old “had the misfortune” of getting into a  car accident on City Island Road in the Bronx on April 17, 2019 with off-duty cops.

“This was a total abuse of power,” Saulnier told The Post. “They treated me like I killed 20 people.”

The steel worker said he had a three-inch piece of metal protruding from a “profusely bleeding” broken left leg that ultimately needed surgery to install a plate with five screws. The off-duty cops did not appear to be injured, the suit says.

The suit alleges the officers at the scene were angry “because one of their own was in an accident with a civilian. With absolutely no regard for the obvious injuries he had suffered, Saulnier was cuffed by [the] NYPD, as he lay in agony on the stretcher once he arrived at the emergency room at Jacobi Hospital.”

Then cops, “wanting to prolong Saulnier’s misery,” declined to issue a desk appearance ticket and “intentionally delayed” processing his arrest paperwork so that Saulnier — “in excruciating pain” — had to wait another week while “cuffed to his bed by his wrist and his ankle” to see a judge, the suit claims.

Saulnier says that on his “first evening as a prisoner” at Jacobi, an NYPD sergeant came to check on him — and tightened his cuffs.

Saulnier's leg after his operation
Saulnier’s leg after his operation

“I had a broken left leg, a shackled right leg and they handcuffed my left wrist. I said, ‘Why are you guys doing this to me?’ None of the cops had an answer.”

Saulnier told the Post he wasn’t allowed to make phone calls and his mom was in tears whenever she came to visit. A cop was stationed by his side 24/7.

“This was a regular car accident,” Saulnier’s attorney, Taso Pardalis, said. “The kid had unpaid tickets and his license was suspended for that and the cops united to punish him.”

Saulnier was driving his mom’s 2016 Chevy Malibu to a Westchester mall that evening when he collided head-on with an SUV.  Saulnier said he was trying to avoid construction plates and both he and the oncoming driver were in a center fire lane.

He said his car careened and “tapped” a third car, whose driver and passenger were the off-duty cops.

The Bronx man said his Malibu went “up against the guard rail” and he couldn’t open the driver’s side door. He  climbed into the passenger’s seat and then “tried to stand up but fell back into the vehicle because I couldn’t stand.”

“I’m lying in the car and 10 cop cars are there in under three minutes.  … They all walked by me. … The first person to come up to me was FDNY,” he said. When cops finally approached him, they asked for his license and registration, but “didn’t care about me at all.

“And then they established that my license was suspended due to an unpaid parking ticket from 2017.”

Saulnier and his wrecked car
Saulnier and his wrecked carJ.C.Rice (left)

Saulnier said it took him five months to start walking again and he suffers nightmares. The Manhattan federal court lawsuit names two responding officers, the city and the NYPD.

Saulnier satisfied the $303 ticket judgment the day after the accident, according to a lawsuit exhibit.

He was arraigned on charges of reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operator and violation of vehicle and traffic law, a Bronx District Attorney spokeswoman said. Saulnier pleaded guilty on Oct. 24 to the VTL count and got a $75 fine, she said.

An NYPD spokeswoman said Saulnier was  “driving in a fire lane at a high rate of speed,” and that his “claims have no merit and we look forward to defending against the baseless allegations.”

About the author

James Thompson

James Thompson

James Thompson has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US and World sections.

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