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Judge shoots down NYPD suit
The family of a slain armed robber cannot sue the NYPD and the city for his death, a judge ruled last week.
In a decision handed down by Judge Robert Miller, the family of Dion McQueen has no basis to sue the city, as well as the officers who shot him down during a Brooklyn gas station robbery back on October 1999.
Officials said that the family of Dion McQueen filed a suit against the city and the NYPD for false arrest, assault and battery, violation of civil rights, negligence in hiring and training and wrongful death.
McQueen was shot and killed when he allegedly fired a shot at arriving officers as he and Ray Charles and Agustus Charles fled the gas station following the armed robbery.
In court testimony, Police Officer Christopher Rowe said that he and his partner were rushing up to the gas station when McQueen and his two friends were running out.
The two officers drew their weapons and ordered one of the three men to drop his firearm, but the suspect allegedly “put his arms across the front of his body and fired a shot at us.”
The shot missed the two officers, who returned fire and hit McQueen.
Court papers do not indicate if McQueen was holding the gun at the time of the exchange.
In testimony, one of the officers said that the three suspects “were running together” when one of them fired the shot at the officers.
Investigators later determined that Augustus Charles brought the gun to the robbery, while McQueen allegedly brought the bullets.
After the shooting, cops recovered a .32 caliber pistol at the scene of the shooting. A bullet “consistent with the .32 caliber revolver” was also recovered.
Upon receiving a motion about McQueen’s family intent to sue, the city fired back a motion of its own, claiming that the suit should be dismissed because “the use of excessive force could not be sustained.
“The police used reasonable force,” city attorneys said, adding that the cops were fired upon before they returned fire.
Judge Miller agreed with the city attorney’s assertion.
“While the death of any human being is a tragedy, [McQueen] placed himself in harms way by participating in a armed robbery,” Judge Miller wrote. “He supplied the bullets used in the robbery and used in the exchange with the police officers. If the decedent had survived, our criminal law would have permitted the State to try him for armed robbery or, of one of the police officers had been killed, for felony murder.”
“Under the facts of this case, [McQueen] took part in an armed robbery and was part of the threesome that fled the scene and fired at the police,” said Miller, as he dismissed the family’s suit with prejudice.
Disastrous delivery debacle
An American Airlines luggage snafu has one outraged Sunset Park resident so outraged that he’s filing a lawsuit.
But this wasn’t just any piece of luggage, although American Airlines allegedly treated it that way.
The precious parcel was his wife’s remains, according to a recently filed lawsuit.
Plaintiff Miguel Olaya claimed that American Airlines “lost” his wife’s body as they transported it to Guayaquil, Ecuador for burial this past March.
The New York Post reports that 57-year-old Teresa Olaya died of pelvic cancer in late March.
Her husband of 26 years made arrangements with American Airlines to transport his wife’s remains to her native country for burial, and then flew ahead to make arrangements there.
The body was supposed to land on April 1, but never arrived.
In fact, American Airlines didn’t deliver the body to Ecuador until April 4.
The suit claimed that the body was lost in transit. One report had the body still in Miami while another had it in Guatemala City.
Olaya’s remains were also not refrigerated, and were in an extreme state of decomposition when her body was finally returned to her husband.
The remains were so badly damaged that Olaya had to have a closed casket service, the lawsuit said.
“They treated the body like a piece of baggage,” attorney Christopher Robles told reporters. “They didn’t keep it refrigerated.”
While the attorney would not disclose just how much the Olaya family was seeking in damages, he did say that it was in the “high seven figures.”
Also named in the suit was the DeRiso Funeral home at Fourth Avenue and 50th Street in Sunset Park, which was allegedly responsible for some of the transportation arrangements.
No one at DeRiso or American Airlines would speak about the suit, claiming that they don’t comment on pending litigation.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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