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Judge says he was punched by cop

June 6, 2012 2:13:06 PM PDT
Judge Thomas Raffaele tells Eyewitness News that he could have been killed on 74th Street in Jackson Heights last Thursday night just after midnight.

Cops from the 115th Precinct were apprehending a man on the ground. Residents say the man had been threatening people in the neighborhood. Judge Rafaelle says, he was worried about the cops and called 911.

"I felt that if we could get more officers, it would calm everybody down and be less dangerous," said Judge Raffaele.

But pretty soon, he says, the crowd felt that one of the cops was using excessive force.

"There was a woman on my left who said, 'you're injuring him, stop it!' other people were also yelling," Judge Raffaele added.

He says he was just one of many who were standing in a crowd, and that is when the cop attacked him.

"That's the allegation - obviously, it's a serious allegation. Our internal affairs bureau, along with The CCRB will investigate," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

But that's not all. Judge Rafaelle also says a sergeant in the district did nothing when he complained about the cop.

"The sergeant came back to me and said, 'oh, I don't even know who you're talking about," he said.

Late Wednesday, the judge's friend from the neighborhood, corroborated the whole thing. He added that the cop even appeared pleased after he did it.

"Whatever he was doing, he was very happy, it seems," said witness Muhammad Rashid.

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