JACKSON HEIGHTS—The NYPD is investigating claims by a Queens judge that he was hit in the throat by a cop from the 115th Precinct when he came upon a scuffle in Jackson Heights, according to reports and officials.
Judge Thomas D. Raffaele, 69, who sits on the Matrimonial Court in Jamaica, said that he was struck as he called 911 to complain about the scene he witnessed early Friday morning where the cops were standing behind a screaming, handcuffed man, surrounded by a crowd jeering the officers, according to the New York Times.
“We’re working with the NYPD in this matter," said Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for Queens D.A. Richard A. Brown told DNAinfo.com New York. "The judge made an allegation. It’s being investigated at this point."
According to the Times, Raffaele was walking with a friend when he came across a crowd, near 74th Street and 37th Road.
When he got closer, the judge, who was dressed in T-shirt and jeans, saw a man lying face-down, shirtless and screaming, with his hands cuffed behind his back and two police officers standing over him, the paper said.
A crowd had gathered, apparently jeering the cops behavior, the report said.
The judge, worried that the crowd would get unruly, then dialed 911, the Times said. That's when he says a cop charged at him and struck him on the throat with the upper part of his hand, the paper said.
Raffaele, who had his throat examined at Elmhurst Hospital, claims that he tried to complain about the alleged assault but was rebuffed. His statement was finally taken at Elmhurst Hospital, the Times said.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.