Man who claims police assault testifies

November 6, 2008 4:58:18 PM PST
A man who claims police assaulted and sodomized him in a subway station testified Thursday before a grand jury investigating the allegations. Michael Mineo, a body piercer who works in a tattoo parlor, said four officers approached him on Oct. 15 outside the Brooklyn station because they believed he was smoking marijuana. He said he fled into the station, where they surrounded and attacked him. He said one officer yanked down his pants and sodomized him with a radio antenna.

The New York Police Department disputes the allegations. It says witness accounts don't support Mineo's claim he was sodomized.

Mineo, 24, was given a ticket for disorderly conduct. He was hospitalized twice after the encounter with police.

"I was violated by the police, and I feel like they're going to be brought to justice," he told reporters Thursday outside the courthouse after testifying. "At first, I felt like people weren't believing me. Now that things are coming to light, I feel better. I'm know I'm going to receive justice."

Mineo, who insisted after he testified that police sodomized him, said he hasn't been the same since the encounter.

"I can't eat. I only get an hour's sleep," he told reporters. "I'm paranoid. I'm scared for my own safety."