Sick dog leads to police confrontation

July 1, 2009 3:06:42 PM PDT
An emotionally charged case of he said, she said is brewing Wednesday. And at the center of the issue is New York City's first Hasidic police officer.A woman from Brooklyn is angry because she says police didn't want her sick dog in the subways. She is accused of making anti-Semitic remarks to the cop, and she says she didn't do it.

Chrissie Brodigan had one of those days Monday. Her dog threw up while in his carrying case on the subway ride home, then she had a confrontation with police and then she got arrested for disorderly conduct.

As she exited the Bedford avenue subway station in Williamsburg, a police officer cited her for not having her pug - Dempsey - inside his carrying case, as required in city subways.

"The pug vomit was on me and the bag," she said. "It's sort of like a mom with a child who just threw up. You just want to get out of the subway."

The 32-year-old says sexist remarks by officer Joel Witriol - the city's first Hasidic cop - prompted her to get a little heated. Moments later, she was in handcuffs and up against the wall.

"The whole time, he kept saying, 'If you're going to act like a woman, I'm going to treat you like a woman,'" she said. "And he kicked me and punched me in the back."

"There's no indication of that," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "And if the complainant says she was, and that will be investigated by the civilian complaint review board."

Brodigan showed bruises she still has on her leg, her arm and her wrist. Furthermore, an eyewitness took pictures of the confrontation and corroborated her story, called the officer's actions excessive and unprofessional. The witness said Brodigan never uttered anti-Semitic remarks, a claim made in a published report.

"I don't recall making a statement that was anti-Semitic," Brodigan said. "I do recall saying that what he was doing was inhumane."

Brodigan says she should have kept her mouth shut. But, she adds, the officer was way out of line and should pick up some additional training on how to deal with people.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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