A police officer caught on video walloping a man for farebeating has been on paid sick leave since the incident took place in a Bushwick subway station last month.
Officer Evans Mazile was caught on camera smashing his nightstick over the head of 20-year-old Donovan Lawson, who was charged with farebeating, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration. Lawson was hospitalized with "cuts" to his head; Mazile was hospitalized with wrist injuries.
According to Murray Weiss at DNAinfo, Mazile has eight prior complaints logged against him, primarily for verbal abuse but some for excessive force. Seven of those instances, however, are unsubstantiated.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is investigating the case to determine whether a grand jury should be convened.
The scene took place on November 20th just before 8 p.m., when Lawson apparently slipped through the turnstile at the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway JMZ subway station just before 8 p.m., sliding through behind his 15-year-old girlfriend.
Mazile asked both parties to produce their IDs, though Lawson apparently didn't have his. Mazile explained that this would result in Lawson being arrested, which was problematic since Lawson was already on parole for robbery, an incident in which he apparently brandished a BB gun, punched his target and fled with cash and an iPhone.
Mazile didn't take kindly to this news, and thus became agitated.
"Witnesses said he apparently did not like the way he was being spoken to,” the law enforcement said.
Mazile punched Lawson several times in the face and even tried to overwhelm him by spraying him in mace, but Lawson blocked it with his hands, sources said.
Then Mazile pulled out his baton, slamming Lawson on the head with enough force that the sound of the blow was clearly recorded by several shocked straphangers.
Lawson is currently being held on Rikers Island, and said Monday he would rather go to trial than plead guilty to trespassing.