Possible witness to talk in alleged NYPD assault

October 31, 2008 2:58:48 PM PDT
It could be bad news for the NYPD officers accused of sodomizing a man on a subway platform in Brooklyn. A transit officer is reportedly going to break ranks and tell what he saw that afternoon.Six people have come forward supporting the victim's version of the story -- and one of them is an NYPD transit cop.

For days now, 24-year-old Michael Mineo has maintained his story.

The Brooklyn man claims he was sodomized with a radio antenna during a confrontation with police at the Prospect Park subway station on October 15th -- a claim the officers have denied.

But now, it seems the validity of Mineo's story may be getting some help from an NYPD transit cop. the officer reportedly looks to be breaking ranks by offering to tell what he saw that afternoon on the subway platform.

Still, District Attorney Charles Hynes is advising that no one jump to any conclusions.

" Don't for a moment take what you've heard on background about conflicts and assume its true," DA Hynes said.

As a grand jury gets set to investigate the allegations, Mineo's attorney, Steve Jackson says he is preparing to be interviewed in the case.

"We expect his testimony to be forthcoming, I know the purpose of the interview today was to prepare him for his grand jury testimony and we fully expect that to go forward," Jackson said.

Prosecutors will be hearing more evidence today.

Two witnesses will support the police version of what happened in the subway station. However, six witnesses are supporting the victim's version of what happened.


Mineo, a tattoo parlor worker, said he was on his way to work and was outside a Brooklyn subway station when he was approached by the officers because they believed he was smoking marijuana. He fled into the subway station and the officers jumped him from behind, handcuffed him and wrestled him to the ground, he said.

Mineo told his lawyers that he felt a foot on his neck as the officers pummeled him, then violated him with the walkie-talkie.

The lawyers say the officers took the bleeding Mineo into a police car, wrote him a disorderly conduct ticket and left him at the subway station.

New York City police deny Mineo's charges, saying he was arrested for smoking pot in an encounter described as a "scuffle."

Mineo spoke with prosecutors from his hospital bed the day after he claims the incident took place, but has not spoken again with them. The case is also being investigated by the police department, but the department must wait until the district attorney's office finishes before interviewing the officers.

The accusations were reminiscent of the 1997 assault of Abner Louima, who was beaten and sodomized with a broomstick in a police precinct by officers in one of the most notorious cases of police brutality in NYPD history.

Mineo and his attorneys say there were five officers involved, but apparently one officer's involvement was minor so the district attorney is focusing on four officers.

Mineo, 24, was orphaned as a child after his parents died from illness, and lived with his grandparents until they died. He has no family, according to his attorney.