NEW YORK – Prosecutors have asked two patrolmen to turn themselves in to face charges in the case of a tattoo parlor worker who claims he was sodomized with police equipment during an arrest on a Brooklyn subway platform, the officers' lawyers said Monday.
Officers Richard Kern and Alex Cruz were to be arraigned Tuesday on charges contained in a sealed indictment, the lawyers said. A third officer also was expected to surrender.
The lawyers were not notified of specific charges, but said their clients would plead not guilty. The district attorney's office declined comment.
"We don't know what the people's proof is, but as far as I'm concerned my client is not guilty," said Kern's attorney, John Patten.
Cruz's lawyer said the officer maintains his innocence. "He never observed any misconduct nor engaged in any misconduct," said the lawyer, Stuart London.
The two accused officers initially approached Michael Mineo on Oct. 15 outside of a subway station because they believed he was smoking marijuana, police said.
When he fled into the station, they and two other uniformed officers wrestled him to the ground face down and handcuffed him.
Mineo, 24, a body piercer at a tattoo parlor, claims that during the struggle his pants were pulled down and one of the officers sodomized him as he screamed out in pain. He has said he believed he was violated with the antenna of a hand-held radio, and that the assailant was Cruz.
But a transit officer called as a grand jury witness early last month testified that he saw Kern wield a baton and put it near Mineo's buttocks, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are not public. The transit officer was among the four who helped subdue Mineo.
After Mineo was given a ticket for disorderly conduct and released, he was hospitalized for several days and treated for anal injuries, according to medical records reviewed by The Associated Press. The district attorney's office launched the grand jury investigation in late October when the allegations came to light.
The New York Police Department has said other eyewitness witness accounts don't support Mineo's claim he was sodomized. They include that of a transit employee who was called before the grand jury.