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NYPD Cop Caught on Video Punching, Tasing 85-Pound Man With Health Problems

It's pretty obvious that the 4'8" William Colon didn't pose a serious threat to any of the 8 cops on-scene.

YouTube Screenshot via Staten Island AdvanceYouTube Screenshot via Staten Island Advance

Newly released cellphone video shows a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer punching and tasing an 85-pound man with health issues.

In the video, it's obvious that 24-year-old William Colon does not want to be arrested. But it's hard to believe that the 4'8" man posed a serious threat to the cops who had entered his Staten Island apartment. Making matters worse, there seems to be a good chance Colon didn't do anything wrong in the first place.

The incident in question occurred on September 28—Colon's birthday. Colon told the New York Daily News he had been arguing with his girlfriend of 4 years, Lissette Torres, over some birthday gifts she gave him. A neighbor heard the argument and called 911, but by the time police arrived, Colon's brother Jazz had walked Torres out.

Cellphone video taken by Jazz and released by the Legal Aid Society, which is representing Colon, shows what happened next:

Several police officers can be seen entering the apartment, despite both brothers' protests. One of the officers pushes Colon onto a bed and attempts to restrain him, even as Jazz warns that his brother has "medical issues." Colon, for his part, repeatedly claims he "didn't do nothing."

At one point, the officer pulls out his Taser, prompting Jazz to say that "if you tase him, he will get hurt." Jazz tells his brother to "put your hands behind your back," but Colon won't comply, instead saying again that he "didn't do nothing."

Several officers are finally able to restrain Colon and hold his hands behind his back. But as Colon is pinned facedown on the bed, the officer who had previously pulled out the Taser starts punching him. The cop, who the Legal Aid Center identified as Vincenzo Trabolse, then tases Colon.

Colon says his health issues made the experience even worse. According to the Daily News:

Colon is afflicted with a range of health issues that he claims have made him frail. He says he has Mauriac Syndrome, an illness related to diabetes that causes dwarfism. He is also asthmatic, has curvature of the spine and has an intestinal disorder.

"When they tased me, my blood sugar skyrocketed," Colon told the newspaper. "I was very nauseous and pale and vomiting. They thought I was going to go into a diabetic coma. I had to go for X-rays. My body was sore and bruised."

A police official, however, said a scratch on the shoulder was the only real physical injury Colon suffered. "The majority of the time he was in the hospital was for psychiatric observation because he had a history [of psychiatric issues]," the official told the Daily News. "We have eight body-worn camera videos which support our report."

The Staten Island District Attorney's Office said in a statement to Patch that Colon had called one of the officers a "pig" and a "p---y." Both the district attorney's office and the NYPD said they will investigate the officers' conduct.

Colon, meanwhile, has been charged with assault and resisting arrest. Torres "suffered clear and obvious injuries to her face," a spokesperson for the district attorney told WPIX. According to a criminal complaint, Colon punched her in the face.

But that's not what happened, says Colon. His lawyers told the Daily News that Torres fell while she was leaving the apartment.

And Torres herself denies that Colon hit her. "She stated to me that Mr. Colon did not hit her, and she did not call the police," her lawyer, Lou Gelormino, told WNBC.

According to Gelormino, that's not what the cops wanted to hear. "She further stated that she was taken to the police station under the false pretense that they were going to drive her home," Gelormino said. "When she got to the station the police threatened to charge her with various crimes unless she made a statement attesting to the fact that Mr. Colon hit her and then said the police officers told her exactly what to write."

Obviously, all the facts have yet to come out. But the conduct of the officers, particularly Trabolse, is troubling. For one thing, Colon clearly didn't pose a threat to the eight officers in the room. Punching and tasing him was almost certainly unnecessary, especially after the cops had been warned about his medical problems. And even if Colon insulted the officers, that doesn't justify violence. Hurting him because he insulted police officers is a form of extrajudicial punishment, which cops are not and should not be authorized to carry out.

Hopefully, internal affairs will also look into officers' interactions with Torres. If what her lawyer says is true, then the cops tried to force her to lie, possibly so their treatment of Colon would appear justified.

It's worth noting that the NYPD doesn't exactly have a great track record when it comes to treating innocent people like criminals. Consider the officers who raided the wrong house and arrested the family inside (before posting pictures of the raid to Snapchat), as well as the Coney Island cop who assaulted a man over a dropped drink.

The NYPD needs to build trust within the community. Incidents like these don't help.

Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot via Staten Island Advance

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  • Libertymike||

    Cops, if we are to have them, have to be ruthlessly devoted to the protection of individual liberty and ruthlessly opposed to brotherhood and thin blue line concepts.

    To wit, a cop's partner is the BOR, not the guy in the car next to him or her.

  • rocks||

    "Colon is afflicted with a range of health issues that he claims have made him frail. He says he has Mauriac Syndrome, an illness related to diabetes that causes dwarfism. He is also asthmatic, has curvature of the spine and has an intestinal disorder."

    What does any of that have to do with whether or not the cops acted wrongly here? Is reason saying that if the cops did all of this to a healthy male the cop's behavior would be OK, but because this guy has a victimhood list that then the cop's behavior is wrong?

    Hint, that is not libertarianism. The cop's behavior was either wrong regardless of the person it was done to or it was OK. The more Reason pulls out this PC victimhood crap the more it exposes itself as a bunch of progressive commie far-left liberals.

  • Anomalous||

    Everything you say is true. It's just that when the cops brutalize someone who's especially frail, the optics are worse.

  • Untermensch den 2||

    And it also calls their judgment into serious question. An appropriate response for dealing with a 6'6", 275-pound bruiser would be worlds different than what you do for dealing with grannie or this guy. It's not PC crap to recognize that even if Colon were a threat that this cop has serious problems with understanding proportionality. Mentioning Colon's condition just makes the cop look like even more of a tool.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Agreed. I don't think Joe's point has anything to do with PC victimhood. The point is that the cops cannot make a legitimate case that he posed a threat worthy of their brutal response.

  • Les||

    They're pointing out that he wasn't a physical threat, which is something cops regularly use to defend their bad behavior.

    Your knee is jerking a tad.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Health issues of Colon are a factor in the degree of force necessary to detain, as well as to preserve Colon's health and safety during said detainment. One cannot use the same degree of force on a weak, obviously frail, small, incapacitated person as on a fit, prime-of-life man - the risks of injury to the subject are much, much greater with the former than the latter.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Never call a cop a "pthreedashy."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Staten Island District Attorney's Office said in a statement to Patch that Colon had called one of the officers a "pig" and a "p---y."

    That's two counts felony assault.

  • Eddy||

    Mee-oink

  • Anomalous||

    Truth should be an absolute defense.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    How many times does it need to be said?

    If you don't want to ______, Don't be an 85-pound thug.

  • KevinP||

    Why are liberal Democrat cities so dangerous and oppressive to minorities?

    Liberal Democrat New York City has arrested and imprisoned thousands of minorities for carrying ordinary pocketknives:

    How a '50s-Era New York Knife Law Has Landed Thousands in Jail


    Quote:
    80 percent of weapons recovered under stop-and-frisk were knives, according to an analysis of the department's own statistics. And experts say the vast majority of those were likely misclassified as "gravity knives." Whether deliberate or not, dramatically expanding the definition of an illegal knife has not only landed thousands of innocent people in jail -- it also had the effect of making stop-and-frisk appear far more effective than it actually was.

    Fully 86% of those arrested are Black or Hispanic.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    " Whether deliberate or not" Is the writer suggesting that the NYPD might be acting in bad faith here? Just so they can arrest a bunch of black and brown men? And make their stats look better? Well I for one am shocked.

  • Dillinger||

    Big man, pig man. Haha, charade you are.

  • sarcasmic||

    People who shoot police officers are people who do not obey commands.

    That means people who do not obey commands are people who shoot police officers.

    Therefore anyone who fails to obey must be treated as a deadly threat.

    Q.E.D.

  • Jerryskids||

    The NYPD needs to build trust within the community.

    LOL. Trust-building is for pathetic losers who don't have a gun and a badge and the power to fuck with people with impunity, knowing that fucking with people merits a paid vacation "punishment".

  • Cynical Asshole||

    He's just lucky he didn't get the full Kelly Thomas treatment, and his brother is lucky he didn't get the same for having the audacity to record them. I suspect the only reason they showed such "restraint" is because they knew they were being recorded, both by the brother and their body cameras.

  • majil||

    Cheer when cops are shot in the face

  • Eddy||

    No, indeed, that would be like the 180 degree opposite of the right idea.

    Or in other words, it's a very very very bad idea.

  • Mindscape||

    "He didn't want to be arrested" translation: he was resisting arrest. Nice linguistic gymnastics there. His medical conditions have nothing to do with his resistance, his mental state or his ability to pose a threat. Even if his medical conditions were to pose a danger to himself if tased, that's all the more reason he should not resist arrest. BTW: none of those conditions would have been affected by a taser. Scoliosis... lol.

    Name one time someone resisted arrest and the cops decided to let the person go. It's a fruitless and moronic endeavor. Get arrested, have your day in court to complain. Or, resist, get tased/beaten/shot, then get arrested and have your day in court/morgue.

    People are idiots.

  • TW||

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. I thought that I heard the brother say that he had a lawyer from 'the last time" which makes me think this guy has probably had multiple run-ins with the law. He also told his brother to "stop fighting" which is probably going to cut in favor of the use of force by the officers.

  • Azathoth!!||

    So it's okay to beat women if you don't weigh a lot, and if you tell people that she 'fell'?

    Of course it is, because she recanted her complaint.

    Did the neighbor? You know, the person who heard him beating her--the one who called the cops.

    Christine Ford was 'credible'--the bruised up women, not so much. Because she recanted and went back to her abuser.

    "It's okay, Officer, she fell repeatedly on my fist with her face."

    It's like you all reflexively take the wrong side of an issue if there's no one there to take your hand.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    1. He told the police he never hit her. He never said "she fell".

    2. She recanted a complaint that she says was only made in the first place under duress(from the cops).

    3. The 911 call from the neighbor says that he heard arguing, not a physical altercation. They aren't the same thing.

    4. The only mention of bruises in either the VC story or the NY Daily News story it links to are on the 85lb man from the beating the cops gave him. There is zero mention of any evidence that the girlfriend had any bruises.

    No cigar for you, but feel free to play again.

  • Azathoth!!||

    1. He told the police he never hit her. He never said "she fell".

    His lawyers said she fell. I never said that he said she fell.

    2. She recanted a complaint that she says was only made in the first place under duress(from the cops).

    She recanted the complaint.

    3. The 911 call from the neighbor says that he heard arguing, not a physical altercation. They aren't the same thing.

    I never said what the neighbor said. I said that the neighbor heard him beating her. Which he did. How do I know? See below--

    4. The only mention of bruises in either the VC story or the NY Daily News story it links to are on the 85lb man from the beating the cops gave him. There is zero mention of any evidence that the girlfriend had any bruises

    Torres "suffered clear and obvious injuries to her face," a spokesperson for the district attorney told WPIX. According to a criminal complaint, Colon punched her in the face

    I'll go with the 'clear and obvious injuries to her face' and the complaint sworn out WHEN IT HAPPENED--instead of the recanting AFTER everyone calmed down.

    I'd say 'thank you for playing but you really suck at this. Maybe try checkers.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Let this be a lesson to the elderly all over America.
    This is what you get when you go outside without permission from The State.
    Bad things will happen.
    Now be grateful you're living in a police state.

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