In January, an 84-year-old man needed four staples to his head after the NYPD violently arrested him during a jaywalking stop on the Upper West Side. Kang Wong was charged with jaywalking, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for the stop on January 19th. Cops eventually dropped all charges against him, and now he's suing the NYPD and the city for $5 million because of permanent mental damage from the stop. "His memory has deteriorated since the incident, he even admitted it is so," Wei Wong, the plaintiff’s son, told the News. "He’s trying to get back to normal, but just going out is difficult for him."
Wong, who speaks mainly Cantonese and Spanish, thought the traffic signal was green when he started to cross the street at West 96th and Broadway; an officer asked for ID, which he didn't understand, leading to the confrontation. He claims he was pushed to the ground and knocked unconscious by cops. When he came to, he was in handcuffs and his head was bleeding. Witnesses said the language barrier led to a lot of confusion between the officers and the elderly man, but police insisted they didn't use "excessive force."
In addition to his head injury, Wong also is afraid of cops: "He’s still traumatized," Wei Wong added. "Just crossing the street, he’s afraid of cops coming up from behind and arresting him. He won’t cross even if the crosswalk signal is blinking because of what occurred. He’s terrified, in fact."
The NYPD gave out 452 tickets for jaywalking to pedestrians during the first two months of 2014, a 900% increase from the same period in 2013. "The broken windows policy in this era is a broken policy," Wong's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, told the News. "When an elderly man ends up with multiple staples to close a wound in his head because of the issue of alleged jaywalking, it’s simply not right."