A man, whose convertible Mercedes was impounded in New York following his arrest, alleges that an employee of the NYPD took his car on a more-than 30-mile joy ride.
Police joy ride following arrest?
Rashid Lewis, 25, was arrested in Manhattan at about 2:30 pm on August 3. Allegedly, he had several fraudulent credit cards in his possession.
The car, according to the NYPD, was then taken to a lot in Harlem for secure impound. However, the next day an unidentified NYPD employee — it is unclear whether it was an officer or some other administrative personnel — took the vehicle out of impound to deliver it to another lot in Queens.
However, according to Lewis, the driver decided to travel a circuitous route through Brooklyn. A more direct route would have cut the length of the trip nearly in half.
Marvyn Kornberg, a lawyer retained by Lewis, said:
“You don’t go from the Upper East Side to Springfield Gardens via 12th Avenue in Manhattan. They still haven’t told me the reason why it was on 12th Avenue.”
Red-light camera ticket issued
About 13 hours after the arrest, in Brooklyn, car and driver were photographed by a traffic camera blowing through a red light. That resulted in Lewis being issuing a $50 traffic ticket, even though he was behind bars at the time.
Lewis, a junior at Berkeley College, said:
“While everything is going on, I received the red-light ticket in the mail on Aug. 15. My first reaction was, ‘Are you guys serious?’ I had a whole bunch of emotions running through my mind. I felt violated.”
As reported by PoliceOne, Lewis was also quoted as saying:
“How are they supposed to enforce the law when they’re breaking it?”
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Worse for the wear?
Lewis further claims that the car was returned to him much the worse for the wear:
“My back window was broken, my driver’s-side door was keyed, and my bumper was scratched up. They were driving my car with the windows down and having a ball joy riding my vehicle.”
The Mercedes was listed as in “good” condition when it was impounded. An NYPD source claims, however, that if the vehicle was damaged at the time, Lewis made no mention of it when he reclaimed it. Lewis was released on $3,500 bail the following week.
A statement said:
“The owner inspected his property for damage and signed for the vehicle prior to removing it from the facility, indicating there was no additional damage.”