A college-bound Brooklyn teen says a vengeful cop handcuffed him and dragged him off to jail for leaving his bicycle on the sidewalk — eight days after he slapped the officer with a lawsuit alleging false arrest.
Officer Daniel Berardi and Rayquan Callahan, 19, first crossed paths on Feb. 24 in Brownsville. Callahan, then a senior at Brooklyn Collegiate High School and working seven days a week at McDonald’s, was walking out of the Rockaway Ave. subway station with two friends.
The trio stopped to talk to a 16-year-old acquaintance, according to court papers, when Berardi and several plainclothes cops started frisking the young men. The 16-year-old bolted.
The cops chased him down and recovered a gun he had tossed under a car — then inexplicably put a call over the police radio for officers to be on the lookout for Callahan and his two friends, who had already been searched and were found not to be carrying anything illegal.
They were arrested and spent 15 hours in custody before the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office declined to press charges. Callahan filed suit and a related complaint was served on June 26 at the 73rd Precinct stationhouse where Berardi was assigned.
Just over a week later — on July 4 — Callahan and Berardi, 25, crossed paths again. The cop, sued twice in three years, immediately recognized the teen on Pitkin Ave.
“This is the guy who’s suing us,” Berardi told his fellow cops, according to the complaint. “I don’t care, the money isn’t coming out of my pocket.”
Callahan, who has been accepted to Ohio State University, had left his bicycle on the sidewalk while he was inside a check-cashing business. Berardi handcuffed the teen on a fabricated charge of riding on the sidewalk, according to court papers filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Callahan denies he ever rode his bike on the sidewalk.
The teen should have been issued a summons for the alleged bike violation, but was instead taken to central booking. He spent 30 hours in custody before a judge dismissed the charges. Before the encounters with Berardi, Callahan had a clean record. “I have nothing to say to you,” Berardi told the Daily News in a brief telephone interview.
Callahan’s lawyer, Joel Berger, was livid. “Never in 45 years of practicing civil rights law have I encountered such a brazen retaliation against a plaintiff by the very officer he has just sued,” Berger said.
Berardi is also being sued by eight plaintiffs who were allegedly rounded up by Berardi on March 9 because they were in the vicinity of a shooting near Dumont Ave., their lawyer David Zelman said. Six were released after 12 hours without seeing a judge; two spent the night at Rikers Island and were also cut loose without being charged, court papers state.
A spokeswoman for the city Law Department said Callahan’s allegations were being reviewed.
An NYPD spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Now Bill Keller and the rest of the suck of journalists busy lapping at Bloomberg's ass with their "legacy" pieces don't care about this sort of thing because they're white and they're kids are white and they're not subject to the abuse.
But you can bet if Keller's kid or grand kid was the kid in this story, Keller would see Bloomberg's "legacy" differently.