Staten Island, NY — A Metro Transit Authority cop from Brooklyn was arrested this week after he allegedly dumped his hit and run victim on Staten Island after running him down with his cruiser in a crosswalk.
On May 26, 2016, according to court records, this cowardly cop ran over an innocent man while on duty and then refused to help him. Instead of help, officer Lawrence Ffrench threw his victim in the back of the police car and dumped him on Staten Island.
After dumping the injured man, Julio Canete, Ffrench then told his victim that if he told anyone he’d been hit by a cop “he was in trouble.”
Canete was walking toward a bus stop in Bay Ridge when he was struck by Ffrench’s marked MTA vehicle and thrown into the air, Assistant District Attorney Prabhalya Pulim said Thursday in court.
“The defendant’s post at the time of the incident was traffic enforcement,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “He should have been keeping pedestrians safe — not endangering lives.”
As the Daily News reports,
Ffrench is accused of picking Canete up off the ground near the corner of Gatling Place and 92nd St. and asking him where he lived. When a disoriented Canete told Ffrench he lived in Staten Island, the officer put him in the back seat of his squad car and drove him more than a half mile across the bridge, according to a lawsuit Canete filed in Manhattan Federal Court in May against Ffrench and the MTA.
The cop is suspected of leaving Canete, 41, on the pavement of a parking lot at Tompkins and Wadsworth Aves. in Staten Island — and driving away. Canete called 911. Prosecutors said at no point did Ffrench, a 10-year veteran, call for help — a charge the officer’s attorney disputes. Prosecutors also said Ffrench drove the MTA car to an employee parking lot, got into his personal vehicle and returned to where he left Canete.
Canete has since filed a lawsuit, which notes, alongside prosecutors, that Ffrench then ordered him “not to tell anyone he had hit (him) with his police car.”
After the severely injured man was finally picked up by an ambulance he spent four days in Staten Island University Hospital where he was treated for multiple injuries and underwent surgery on his knee.
Ffrench is charged with leaving the scene of an incident without reporting it, a felony, and third-degree intimidating a witness.
Naturally, Ffrench’s attorney, Vesselin Mitev, did what most cop lawyers do when their officers are in trouble — he blamed the victim. Mitev shamelessly attempted to paint Canete as a crook out looking for a quick buck by getting run over by a cop.
“My client is the victim of what’s known as a cashgrab when people try to get hit by a police car and sue the city. That’s exactly what happened here,” Mitev said.
Perhaps people would be more inclined to believe Mitev’s bogus story if police officers hitting people with their wasn’t so common. As the Free Thought Project routinely reports, cops hit people, including innocent pedestrians with their cars all the time.
Having a laptop out in front of you as you speed down the road, most assuredly, has its drawbacks, just ask Kaylem Gonzalez. Gonzalez, 15, was walking away from his home on January 14, 2015, when he was struck by a Temple police car. The officer in the car, according to the lawsuit, left him trapped under it, with the engine running.
For 10 minutes the 15-year-old boy was burned all over his body. He suffered multiple third-degree burns to his torso, thighs, and pelvis, including his genitals, caused by the hot engine.
“(The victim) was under the middle of the vehicle face up,” the lawsuit petition says. “Emergency workers smelled the burning flesh, but no one made efforts to move the car or turn off the engine,” the suit says. “He was unable to flee or do anything. He was being burned alive.”
One needn’t even be on a roadway to get run over by a police officer. Last year, Lindsey Gordon, 24, was out sunbathing on the beach when an out of control cop in his police cruiser came barrelling down the sand and ran her over.
Gordon, who merely wanted to catch some sun with her friend, was hospitalized in critical condition with a shattered pelvis and internal bleeding.
One of the reasons these officers of the law can drive like this is because they often get away with it.
Roza Sakhina, a Russian immigrant, was struck by officer Lori Lin Goulet on Aug. 16, 2013, and died five days later. The officer backed out of a parking spot and hit the elderly woman. Not only was Goulet not charged in Sakhina’s death, but she wasn’t disciplined in the matter and all and the report named Sakhina as the party at fault.