“[Khan] spotted the indentations of his teeth…the actual physical pieces of the tooth were in the roof.”
Staten Island, NY — A Graniteville man is suing the city claiming that an enraged cop slammed his face down on the roof of his car, shattering his two front teeth, after failing to find drugs.
Hassam Khan is a college grad with no criminal record, who was heading home after picking up his cousin from work at a drug store on the night of December 26. That night he was stopped by undercover cops, right outside of his home.
According to the lawsuit, three cops surrounded the vehicle, guns drawn as they pulled Khan from the car, slamming him against the vehicle.
“The worst that he did was maybe speeding,” Khan’s lawyer, Harvey Greenberg, said Wednesday. “Though there was never a speeding ticket given.”
After tearing Kahn’s car apart and not finding anything, an irritated officer Mark Scarlatelli, then grabbed Kahn’s head and rammed it into the roof of the car, according to Greenberg.
“I just think the cop was so upset at his misjudgment that he just grabbed [Khan’s] head and pushed it into the driver’s side of the roof,” he said.
According to the suit, the force of the impact was so great that it broke Khan’s two front teeth. After feeling the extreme pain of his shattering teeth, Khan started telling the neighbors, who were watching the abuse, what had transpired.
silive.com reports that Scarlatelli denied that he’d knocked out Khan’s teeth and said he’d charge him with resisting arresting if he didn’t stop telling neighbors that he had, the suit alleges.
When Khan didn’t shut up about his broken teeth, Officer Steven Marshall handcuffed him.
“You think you can do whatever you want,” Marshall said to him, according to the suit. “Because of that I’m going to arrest you.”
Prior to being arrested, Kahn says in the lawsuit, that he pleaded with officers to let him find his teeth before being hauled off to jail for no reason.
“They were looking on the ground,” Greenberg said, “but the flashlight shined on the roof and [Khan] spotted the indentations of his teeth…the actual physical pieces of the tooth were in the roof.”
Khan was subsequently booked and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, reckless driving and obstructing governmental administration, according to Greenberg. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on the advice of another lawyer.
According to silive.com, earlier this month, the Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated Khan’s claims of excessive force by Scarlatelli, improper search by Marshall and the failure of Officer John Ryan, the third officer on the scene, to report Khan’s injury to the Internal Affairs Bureau, Greenberg said. The Advance independently confirmed Greenberg’s statements about the investigation.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment and it’s not yet known whether the three officers named in Khan’s suit will face disciplinary action.