MELROSE, Bronx - A 24-year-old Bronx man said Wednesday he plans to sue the NYPD over his claim that he was wrongfully arrested and charged.
Joshua McCallum insists officials have the wrong guy after he was charged with attempted rape, burglary and sexual abuse in August.
Police maintained McCallum choked and groped a 74-year-old woman as she stepped off the elevator in her building in the Melrose section of the Bronx. He was arrested and released on bail, and the charges were later dropped. But not before he says his life was ruined.
McCallum is seen on surveillance video with the alleged victim in the elevator, but he says he never touched her and that he was there to smoke marijuana. Police released the video while searching for a suspect, and he turned himself in about a week later after friends tipped him off he was being sought.
The victim reportedly suffers from dementia and admitted she never saw the suspect's face, and the description she gave police of her attacker differed from what McCallum was wearing at the time.
Prosecutors pointed out the discrepancies during his arraignment, but they went ahead with the case anyway.
The Bronx District Attorney's Office said there are some credibility issues with the alleged victim, who apparently decided to stop cooperating in the case. That meant they couldn't go forward and dropped the charges. But McCallum said the damage was already done.
"I don't know if I can get a job now," he said. "My family, they say they love me, but deep down, I don't know what they think and how they look at me now. I don't know who's looking at me, who wants to do what to me. I'm looking over my back always now, and I've never been a bad person at all. I never got in trouble with the law."
There was never a lineup, and the alleged victim never looked at a photo array. Despite that, the NYPD says it stands by its arrest.