UPPER WEST SIDE — An NYPD officer who was injured in a fall from his department-issued scooter while reportedly chasing suspects off-road in Central Park is suing the organization responsible for the park's upkeep.
Officer Carmelo Fargas was driving his NYPD scooter in in the park on September 4, 2016, around 2:30 a.m. when the vehicle came in contact with “potholes, depressions, and/or openings and obstructions in the field,” said the lawsuit filed against the Central Park Conservancy on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Fargas suffered permanent injuries in the fall, which took place in the grassy fields between the 85th Street Transverse, Central Park West and West Drive, the suit claims.
The officer had been chasing kids who were running in the park after hours when the crash occurred, according to the New York Post. An injury report said the officer stuck out his left leg to try to prevent himself from falling and was left with a ruptured knee, the paper said.
The filing argues that the Conservancy was negligent in maintenance and should have kept the area safe and free of obstructions. Fargas filed a similar lawsuit against the city's Parks Department on March 2.
Both the Central Park Conservancy, which is responsible for maintaining the green space's grounds, and the Parks Department said they could not comment on pending litigation.
In October 2016, the Conservancy announced a $5 million effort to restore a western stretch of Central Park from West 86th and 90th Streets, between Central Park West and the Central Park Reservoir, which includes the area where Fargas fell.
Fargas’ attorney, Joseph Decolator, did not return multiple requests for comment.