Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thankfully, there's video

From the NY Daily News: "Less than a month after getting busted for allegedly trying to run over a cop, a city worker left court Thursday a free man thanks to video evidence that showed him to be a careful driver.

Felony charges against John Hockenjos, 55, accused of driving at a "high rate of speed," causing the officer "to jump out of the way," were thrown out after a surveillance tape showed the Brooklyn man slowly pulling into his driveway and the cop not even flinching.

"I was very worried. These were very serious charges against me," the MTA engineer said after his ordeal ended. "I was facing seven years in prison."

Officer Diego Palacios made the allegation Feb. 5 after responding to a call by Hockenjos's neighbor.

The driveway of the Sheepshead Bay home is the subject of a long-running civil court fight between Hockenjos and the neighbor.

"The people are moving to dismiss for lack of evidence and in the interest of justice," prosecutor Danit Almog said in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday morning.

“There's a larger issue here," said Hockenjos’ lawyer Craig Newman. "You have a police officer who doesn't have the right temperament or judgment to be wearing a badge who's still out there."

The NYPD has confirmed that the Internal Affairs Bureau is looking into the matter.

A summons for disorderly conduct against Hockenjos's wife, Irena, 51, stemming from the same incident, is still pending.

The couple said they are still reeling from the arrest.

"I'm traumatized," said John Hockenjos. "It was the worst experience of my entire life."

He said his lack of trust in the local precinct prevents him from calling cops for help "so I feel vulnerable."

Newman warned that other arrestees may be less fortunate than his client.

"Most cases have no video of what happened," the lawyer said."

ed. note: It's amazing to think of the times that I'm asked if I've ever worked for the defense - as if there was something wrong with that. In this case, and any other like it, I'd gladly work in the defense of an innocent person.

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