Strip-searched suspect speaks out about Officer Pantaleo

NEW YORK (WABC) -- NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo is under investigation for using an apparent chokehold on Eric Garner, the man who died last week after police attempted to take him into custody.

Now another man is speaking out, saying he had a run-in with the same officer two years ago.

Darren Collins says he lived to tell his story, but he hasn't spoken until now because he says he was worried for his safety and that of his family. But he says the Garner case changed everything.

"I was hurt, embarrassed. I was violated. It was illegal," Collins said.

It's still painful for Collins, 47, to talk about what happened to him at the hands of police officers during a car stop on a Staten Island street two years ago.

"Naked in the middle of the street. And they're searching me," he explained.

Collins says the cop who ordered him strip-searched is Daniel Pantaleo, the same officer seen in cellphone video that emerged last week in the case of the now dead, Eric Garner. Pantaleo used an apparent unauthorized chokehold and is currently stripped of his gun and badge.

"He's dangerous. He's aggressive," Collins said. "He was the one who slammed me on the hood of the car. He was the one that hit me in my testicles... Slam, slam.... for no reason... He's the one whose looking up my backside."

Sarah: All while you are naked in the street?"
Collins: "And there are people around."

He says he was taken to the 120th precinct and strip-searched again.

Drug charges against him were dismissed and he filed a lawsuit against the city, ultimately settling for $30,000.

Collins says Pantaleo was the prime aggressor, in his opinion.

"Absolutely," he said. "Even after the arrest, he would harass me along with other officers."

Because of what happened, Collins moved out of New York State.

Why is he speaking out now?

"Because I honestly believe this would be swept under the rug," Collins said. "Something needs to change. This has to stop."

Collins has since moved out of New York State. When he is visiting his family here, he says he constantly looks over his shoulder.

Pantaleo denies ever strip-searching Collins.

NOTE: We are unable to post cell phone video showing the incident between the NYPD and Eric Garner due to copyright restrictions.

(Some information from the Associated Press.)
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