An eight year NYPD veteran assigned to patrol Staten Island was arrested this morning and charged with civil rights violations in connection to an April stop-and-frisk arrest in Stapleton. On April 15th, officer Michael Daragjati and his partner stopped an unidentified 31-year-old black man who was walking alone with his hands in his pockets. Naturally, this suspicious activity warranted further investigation, so Daragjati allegedly pushed the man against a parked van and "roughly" frisked him. Finding nothing, the individual was sent on his way, but while walking away he dared to insult Daragjati. Oh yes he didn't!
Officer Daragjati is accused of arresting the individual after he mouthed off. Although the victim did not resist arrest, Daragjati falsely wrote in a police report "that the victim had flailed his arms and kicked his legs during the arrest, purportedly justifying a resisting arrest charge," prosecutors say. The poor guy spent 36 hours in jail before finally being released, and Daragjati is accused of charging him with a crime without probable cause and on false pretenses, and for doing so based on racial animus.
The Daragjati day he swore out the complaint, investigators intercepted a telephone call between Daragjati and a female friend. "I sat there for a couple of hours by the time I got it all done but, fried another n----,” Daragjati allegedly told the woman. “What?” she asks. Daragjati allegedly replied, "Another n---- fried, no big deal." Subsequent phone calls caught on tape also find Daragjati repeatedly using the n-word, and complaining that he could get fired if he got caught "throw[ing] somebody a beating," prosecutors allege. Daragjati is also allegedly heard saying it's too easy for cops to get in trouble, and admitting he's been "skating it for a long time."
Then there are the charges of extortion and wire fraud related to Daragjati's snowplow company. Prosecutors say he beat up a man he suspected of stealing snowplow equipment from a truck parked near his house, and pointed a gun at him, allegedly threatening to kill the suspected thief. The complaint also alleges that Daragjati committed wire fraud after directing a snowplow driver to intentionally damage a truck Daragjati owned, and then falsely representing to the driver’s auto insurer that the damage resulted from an accident while plowing snow.
If Daragjati is convicted of the civil rights charge, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. But if the extortion and wire fraud charges stick, he could do 20 years in prison for what's arguably the most shocking snowplow-related scandal since the Plow King defamed Mr. Plow in a series of negative attack ads.