An 84-year-old man was left bloodied and hospitalized after an incident with New York police officers — over a stop for jaywalking. Witnesses told the New York Post the police brutally beat him, while New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton contends Kang Wong incurred the injuries from a fall.
In response to the death of Sarah Lee, a pedestrian killed earlier that day in the Upper West Side neighborhood, officers were patrolling the area as a safety precaution, writing $250 tickets for pedestrians caught violating the law. After Wong was seen crossing an intersection illegally, an officer made him stand against a nearby wall while writing a ticket. According to eyewitness Ian King, Wong did not understand the officer due to a language barrier, and attempted to walk away from the scene. The officer tried to pull Wong back to the wall, and “that’s when he began to struggle with the cop,” King explained. Additional cops entered the scene and started beating the elderly man — an attack that “left [Wong] bloody and dazed.”
Wong was then placed in handcuffs and escorted to St. Luke’s Hospital, after which he was brought to the 24th Precinct station house. He ultimately needed four staples in his head. On Monday morning, he was issued a desk-appearance ticket after being charged with “resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct,” in addition to jaywalking. His son, a 41-year-old lawyer, claims he was given little information after receiving a phone call from officers inquiring about his father’s medication. The police refused to tell him where Wong was located for hours, he said, before he was finally able to locate him on his own.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Sunday he was “not aware of excessive force” during the incident, and that he believed Wong’s injuries were the result of a fall. One of Wong’s sons told the New York Post that the family intends to press charges, and an internal investigation is underway.