Woman who had eye gouged in NYPD arrest in Bronx wants charges dropped

MOUNT HOPE, Bronx (WABC) -- Lawyers for a woman who says a New York City police officer brutally attack her so badly her left eye was gouged and destroyed are now demanding charges against her be dropped.

And rather than take her to the hospital, Johanna Pagan-Alomar says NYPD Officer Theresa Lustica took her -- and her mangled eye -- to the police precinct instead.

Pagan said she was beaten, and with every blow, the NYPD officer's handcuff kept poking her in the eye, causing it to detach from the socket.

Now the 45-year-old faces misdemeanor assault charges that her attorney wants dropped.

Last year, Pagan saw her then-boyfriend getting arrested at the intersection of Jerome Avenue and East Burnside Avenue in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx.

She says she ran over immediately and asked the officer what was going on, saying she had the right to know.

"In response, the police officer waved what appeared to be drugs in front of Ms. Pagan's face and slapped her in the face with it essentially," attorney Nicolas Schumann-Ortega said.

What happened next was caught on surveillance video.

According to the NYPD, the video shows that Pagan "physically accosted a uniformed police officer, from behind, without provocation, while the officer was effecting an arrest for heroin possession."

But Pagan's attorney doesn't see it that way.

"I actually don't believe the video shows that, I think the video shows Ms. Pagan raising her arm but I don't believe it shows her shoving the officer," Shumann-Ortega said.

Pagan said she did repeatedly ask the officer why she was being disrespectful, but completely denies ever striking the officer first.

Internal Affairs has cleared both officers from the 46th Precinct of any wrongdoing. As for Pagan, she still has criminal and civil cases pending.

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