Man put in apparent chokehold by police in Queens admitted to hospital

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Friday, June 26, 2020
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An emotional reaction from the family talking about how the incident is still impacting him today

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- Ricky Bellevue, the man who was put in an apparent chokehold by a police officer in Queens, was admitted to Lincoln Hospital on Thursday.

Bellevue's family, who spoke at a news conference Friday afternoon, said he has a history of mental illness and since the incident he has been "showing symptoms that he never showed before."

"He said to me, 'Judith, I cannot close my eyes. Every time I close my eyes I feel the officer choking me and I feel like I'm going to die,'" Bellevue's sister-in-law Judith Ceno said.

Bellevue's twin brother, Fritz, said since the incident, Ricky is not the same.

"He threatened me. I was scared for his life," Fritz Bellevue said. "He can't walk outside, he's scared."

Bellevue's attorney Sanford Rubenstein said Bellevue was admitted to the hospital for both physical injuries and mental anguish.

"He was choked until he passed out. When someone gets choked until they pass out, they lose oxygen to their brain," Rubenstein said. "The extent of the brain damage he suffered at that time is something this hospital has to determine."

The NYPD officer who allegedly used the illegal chokehold surrendered to face charges Thursday.

Cell phone video showed officer David Afanadorperforming the banned chokehold Sunday in Rockaway Beach as police were trying to arrest a Bellevue who they say was threatening them.

After his arrest, Bellevue can be heard saying he's bipolar.

WATCH: Police bodycam footage of the arrest:

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