Matthew Wadiak, the co-founder of foodtech startup Blue Apron, is suing the city for unspecified damages after he was allegedly manhandled and falsely arrested by NYPD officers in 2014. The lawsuit, filed last Friday before a deadline expired, accuses the cops of harassing Wadiak outside his Lower East Side home, then "physically battering [the] plaintiff by banging his head into a wall and police vehicle."
Wadiak was subsequently arrested, the Daily News reports, but the charges remain sealed.
The incident took place in April of 2014, when Wadiak was returning to his home on Chrystie Street, where he also owns a pilates studio. According to Wadiak's attorney, he came across police officers outside the studio who appeared to be investigating a robbery. When he inquired about the potential break-in, the officers replied in a "vulgar, combative and unprofessional" tone, the suit charges. Wadiak then asked for the officers' badge numbers, which they refused to provide, the suit alleges.
In response, the officers "used offensive, menacing and threatening physical gestures," according to the lawsuit. Wadiak alleges that the officers then became violent, banging his head against a wall and their cop car, and "otherwise using excessive force in falsely arresting and incarcerating plaintiff."
“They said, ‘That’s it, tough guy, we’re going to arrest you,’ ” his lawyer, Jeffrey Padilla, told the NY Post.
Wadiak's attorney told the News he believes his client was taken in on charges of resisting arrest, though he couldn't say for sure. A representative for the NYPD said they could not discuss ongoing litigation, and referred the question to the Law Department. The Law Department said that the "complaint will be reviewed," but would not comment further.
Blue Apron, a foodtech startup founded by Wadiak in 2012, is said to be eyeing an IPO, and is reportedly on track to surpass $1 billion in yearly revenue. A spokesman for the company said in a statement: "We are aware of the lawsuit that Matthew Wadiak filed against certain officers of the NYPD based on an incident that occurred in April 2014. Blue Apron is not a party to the litigation and has no comment on the matter.”