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Yonkers Mulls $10K Settlement In Excessive Force Suit

The city is considering offering a Bronx man a $10,000 settlement offer in lawsuit claiming police used excessive force in a 2010 arrest.
The city is considering offering a Bronx man a $10,000 settlement offer in lawsuit claiming police used excessive force in a 2010 arrest. Photo Credit: File

YONKERS, N.Y. – The city is preparing to hand over thousands to a Bronx man who says he was roughed up by Yonkers police during a 2010 arrest.

City lawyers are recommending the City Council approve a $10,000 settlement offer to Lenin Sanchez, a man who filed a lawsuit against at least two officers claiming they used excessive force while taking him into custody.

On Aug. 27, 2010, officers responded to reports of a burglary in progress at a McLean Avenue home, Michael Curti, lawyer for the city of Yonkers, told the City Council Tuesday during a Rules Committee meeting.

There, police found three men, including Sanchez, in the basement of the home, Curti said. Sanchez said he hid behind a garbage can before officers from the canine unit released the police dog.

In a lawsuit filed in United States District Court, Sanchez says the dog “savagely clawed and bit” him at the order of the officers.  Sanchez said he curled up into a ball while “officers stomped and kicked him in the head, shoulders and back,” court documents say.

Sanchez said he was also hit over the head with an unidentified object, suffering a gash to the head.

The city’s lawyer said Tuesday Sanchez was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for multiple bite wounds and given 10 stitches for the head wound.  Sanchez later pled guilty to second-degree obstruction of governmental administration in relation to the incident, court records show.

His lawyer did not return request for comment but the lawsuit says Sanchez was seeking unspecified damages from the officers for using excessive force.

The City Council is expected to vote on the proposed settlement offer at next week’s meeting.

On Tuesday, City Council President Chuck Lesnick noted that the incident happened before current Police Commissioner Charles Gardner took over the top spot in the department in January of 2012.

“It appears that the new commissioner has taken some steps and there are fewer of these things percolating through the system,” Lesnick said at the meeting.

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