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Thursday, December 12, 2013

NYPD beat family and killed pet parakeet in own home, lawsuit says

The suit says family friend Luis Ortega (pictured) and Lugo's son George were repeatedly struck in the head with a baton and suffered severe facial injuries.

Nicholas Rizzi
DNAinfo New York
A Staten Island woman has sued the city claiming police entered her St. George home without a warrant, beat her family and killed her beloved pet parakeet, according to court documents. 

Last year, Evelyn Lugo's bird, Tito, was thrown from his cage after it was knocked off a dresser as cops came into her Corson Avenue home, the Daily News first reported. 

The officers then stepped on the bird intentionally, killing it, court documents say. 

Officers also beat two of Lugo's sons, her daughter and a family friend, the lawsuit claims. 

According to court documents, police entered Lugo's home on Sept. 2, 2012, as her family was celebrating Labor Day. 

Police stopped and questioned her son Edwin Avellanet as he was outside throwing out garbage and asked for identification, the lawsuit says. When he refused to show any, officers allegedly grabbed his right arm and Avellanet broke free and ran into the building. 

Lugo says cops barged into her Staten Island house without a warrant. Here, some of the alleged damage police caused.
Officers broke windows of the home, and when Lugo opened the front door she was thrown outside by police, court papers say. 

When inside, police allegedly struck Avellanet two or three times with a hard object, struck their friend in the face and threw a woman into the dresser with the bird cage on it, court documents say. 

Police then allegedly pepper sprayed Lugo's daughter and son, according to the documents. 

Lugo's son, daughter and family friend were arrested and all three were taken to Staten Island University Hospital in custody. 

They were treated for multiple facial lacerations and lacerations to the head. Lugo's daughter was also treated for an asthma attack, the court papers say. 

All charges were eventually dropped and sealed by Richmond County Supreme Court, the lawsuit says. 

Lugo could not be reached for comment on the story. 

The city's Law Department did not say why police entered the home last year, or what charges were lodged against the family, but said they're reviewing the case. 

"We will review the allegations in the complaint, which at this point are merely allegations," a spokeswoman for the department said.
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