A Staten Island woman claims the New York Police Department barged into her home without a warrant, beat up her family, and killed her parakeet.
Evelyn Lugo, 57, told the New York Daily News that her beloved bird Tito was knocked off a dresser when cops barged into her home.
“I screamed, ‘The bird!’” said Lugo’s 30-year-old daughter Anna Febles, “And he said, ‘F--- the bird,’ and he, like, stepped on it.”
According to Lugo’s lawsuit against the NYPD, the incident occurred Sept. 2, 2012, as her family was having a Labor Day barbecue.
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Her son Edwin Avellanet, 26, was taking out the garbage when police stopped him to ask about an orange cone placed in front of the home to save a parking spot, says attorney Jason Levelthal.
The NYPD asked for Avellenet’s identification and he refused, stating he hadn’t done anything wrong. An officer grabbed him by the arm, but he broke free and retreated into the house.
Lugo says officers smashed several first-floor windows in order to get into the home. She opened the door to see who it was, and they allegedly barged in.
“It was completely uncalled for,” Leventhal said. “There was no excuse for going into the house without a warrant.”
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Lugo claims the rowdy cops trampled through the house looking for Lugo and beating people up along the way. The suit filed Nov. 29 claims her son George Lugo and a family friend, Luis Ortego, were repeatedly hit in the head with a police baton.
“They threw me like a piece of garbage on the floor,” Lugo said.
The NYPD used pepper spray that interfered with Lugo’s daughter’s asthma. She went into a bedroom to catch her breath and was arrested. Criminal charges against her, Ortega, and Lugo were later dismissed and sealed, the claim says.
“They (the cops) don’t care about us as humans, they’re going to care about the bird?” Lugo said.
Febles didn’t tell her mother that Tito was dead until the following day because she feared Lugo would be hysterical.
“Ever since then I have been sick and depressed,” Lugo said. “I was hurt on the inside, in my heart.”
The suit seeks unspecified damages for unlawful search and seizure, excessive force and malicious prosecution.