Alan Figman of Figman and Epstein LLP has been retained in the case of a 76-year-old Bronx man who was shot by New York City police in his apartment at 3 AM on January 22, 2011.
In an WABC-TV Channel 7 News Report on Feb. 9, Alan Figman commented on a potential public safety issue with the gun-mounted flashlight the officer was using. Alan Figman said it is possible the gun was discharged when the officer went to turn on the gun-mounted flashlight.
More details as reported by BY John Lauinger, Daily New Staff Writer:
A 76-year-old Bronx man jarred from his sleep by someone pounding on his door about 3 a.m. had no idea he was seconds from a brush with death.
“Who is coming at this time?” Jose Colon thought as he jumped out of bed, scared and still wearing his pajamas.
Before he made it out of his bedroom, heavily armed cops broke down the front door and rushed into Colon’s home looking for his son.
He stepped into the hallway and three things happened simultaneously.
A light flashed in his face. Cops yelled, “Don’t move!” And a police bullet ripped into his midsection and came to rest near his pelvis.
“I see the light and I hear the bullet – all at the same time,” he told the Daily News Saturday in his first public comments since the Jan. 22 shooting.
“When I see that the bullet hit me, I said, ‘Please don’t shoot! I’ve been shot!’” Colon said. “Then the police officer came to me and said, ‘Don’t move!’ and he laid me down.”
Colon said he lay on the floor thinking he was going to die.
“I think of my life,” he said. “I think that God was with me. I was praying to the Lord. I was doing it in my mind.”
Manhattan lawyers Alan Figman and Jonathan Weinrich filed a notice of claim, alerting the city and the NYPD of Colon’s intent to sue. They’re seeking at least $20 million. City officials couldn’t immediately confirm the Friday filing.
Police sources said the light Colon saw likely came from a flashlight attached to a detective’s 9-mm. semiautomatic handgun. Detective Andrew McCormack, a decorated 11-year veteran, fired the errant round while trying to switch on the flashlight.
Figman questioned the NYPD’s version of events and said that McCormack should have prepared for an encounter in poor lighting, given the hour of the raid.
“Why not simply turn on the light before the door is battered in?” he argued.
Cops arrested Colon’s son, Alberto Colon, 41, after finding a small stash of heroin inside the Soundview apartment.
The elder Colon, a longtime member of Bronx Community Board 2, was released from Jacobi Medical Center on Thursday. Doctors were not able to remove the bullet, despite performing a surgery that made an incision in his stomach that took 38 staples to close.
“I am going to be living with the bullet for the rest of my life,” said Colon, fearing the wound will prevent him from returning to work for a Bronx nonprofit that provides housing for the homeless and mentally ill.
McCormack – whose father was an NYPD cop killed in the line of duty – is a member of the NYPD’s elite Emergency Service Unit. He has been placed on administrative duty while police and the Bronx district attorney’s office investigate.
The NYPD’s top spokesman, Paul Browne, did not respond to emails seeking comment yesterday.
As Colon lay in the hospital and breathing with the aid of a respirator, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly came to visit. The wounded man doesn’t remember them being there hours after the shooting.
His son Felipe Colon, who wasn’t involved in the botched drug raid, said he spoke to Bloomberg.
“He said it was an unfortunate situation and that my father shouldn’t be laying in that bed,” the son recalled.
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