Twelve years ago, composer, martial artist and cab driver Eric Goldin was struck by an off-duty cop and left paralyzed. The cop was never given a breathalyzer test, thanks to the officers on the scene who protected him. Multiple other DUI's later, the officer in question was off-the-force, but the cover-up of the first incident was still a stinging insult to Goldin, and one Judge made sure to call the NYPD out on it: "The statements made by this victim about a police cover-up are totally believable...and most likely occurred. It is disgusting what they did to prevent justice from being done," said Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone.

It's a story whose moral is unfortunately still relevant today. Off-duty cop Edilio Mejia slammed into Goldin's yellow taxi on Nov. 6, 1998; Officers Donald Houvener and Arthur Olivella responded on the scene, and were informed that Mejia was a cop. Mejia and Goldin were both taken to the hospital, where Goldin's then-girlfriend asked if Mejia had been given a breathalyzer test—Olivella said he was not trained to give one. Records show Olivella and Houvener said there was "no reason to think a Breathalyzer exam was necessary as P.O. Mejia did not smell of, or appear to be, under the influence of alcohol." Goldin, meanwhile, was a quadriplegic.

The case was dismissed in 1999, largely based on the cops' testimonies; but in 2001, Goldin acquired Mejia's hospital records, which proved that the cop told hospital staff he'd been drinking, and that his blood alcohol level had been at least twice the legal limit. In a new investigation, it was revealed that six officers were involved with the initial cover-up, but the hospital records were inadmissible, and no charges were filed.

Then in a separate incident in 2002, Mejia found guilty of a DUI and sentenced to 60 days in jail. In February 2008, he was found guilty of another DWI (plus vehicular assault), and was forced to retire a month later, but got to keep most of his pension. Most recently, in November 2008, he drove his car the wrong way on the FDR and hit an oncoming car, and was again charged with drunk driving. Mejia was sentenced to a year in jail for that crash recently.

Judge Bart Stone's decision and harsh words were some comfort to Goldin: "It opened up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of getting some...positive resolution from the [NYPD]," he told the News. Officer Olivella remains on the force, and Officer Houvener has been promoted to sergeant.