BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
A Queens cyclist who was stopped by police and arrested in 2015 is suing the officers involved in the incident, alleging that they used excessive force and are attempting to cover up their actions.
On Aug. 13, 2015, at approximately 4:50 p.m., Heins Rodriguez, 26, was riding his bike along 43rd Avenue in Corona without a helmet when an unidentified cop car stopped him. As the car pulled up beside him, Rodriguez fell from his bike to the ground.
Officers Zhen Zuopeng and Alen Chen alleged that Rodriguez was pedaling in the wrong direction at the time of the incident. The officers claimed that Rodriguez refused to be handcuffed, but Rodriguez’s lawyer said that surveillance footage shows him complying with the officers.
Officers later found 12 bags of marijuana in Rodriguez’s book bag, but that misdemeanor case was dismissed.
Rodriguez and his legal team are arguing that Rodriguez now suffers from back injury and becomes paranoid in the presence of police. He is being represented by Harvis & Fett, which specializes in cases related to the NYPD. Harvis & Fett focuses on police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, the First and Fourth amendments and children’s rights.
The Queens Tribune reached out to Rodriguez’s lawyer, Gabriel Harvis, but was unable to obtain a comment by press time.
The suit is about “dangerous pursuit tactics and officers who willingly lied in an effort to cover them up,” Harvis said in a statement to the Daily News. “When officers can manufacture evidence as we see here, no one is safe.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400, ext. 144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.