Leah Horowitz, a 5'3", 115 pound 26 year old who was working as a counselor at a Community Residence in the gated community of Sea Gate in Brooklyn, New York has brought a lawsuit in Kings County Supreme Court for assault and false arrest. The Sea Gate police department has peace officer status and acts as a Police Force for the protection of the Sea Gate Community.
According to the suit, Ms. Horowitz after her work day ended proceeded to exit the Sea Gate Community through the car gate rather than the pedestrian gate. Ms. Horowitz had already exited the community and was across the street on a public sidewalk waiting for a bus when a Sea Gate Police Officer demanded that she re-enter Sea Gate with him so that he could issue a summons for exiting through the car gate. When Horowitz questioned the Police Officer why she had to go with him to the Sea Gate police station to receive a summons, the Police Officer grabbed her by the arm, slammed her into the gate and forcibly twisted her arm behind her back in an attempt to handcuff her. He then called for backup to subdue a "trespasser". Additional officers handcuffed Horowitz, rummaged through her personal belongings and called her "psychotic" for questioning her rights. She was brought to the Sea Gate police station questioned and lectured by a Sea Gate Police Department Lieutenant as to the dangers of "j walking". She was charged with disorderly conduct which was dismissed by the Judge at the first appearance. She was never issued a summons for any traffic or j walking violation. Ms. Horowitz suffered a tear to her shoulder, damage to her thoracic nerve and nerve injury to her wrist. Ms. Horowitz seeks damages for her personal injuries, civil rights violations and for punitive damages. She has not been back to work since the incident because of fear and intimidation.
The Sea Gate Police Department is one of the oldest Police Departments in New York having been founded in 1899. There mottos include, "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Peace" and "In God We Trust, All Others We Run NCIC (National Crime Information Center of the FBI)"
Ms. Horowitz eventually hired employment and civil rights attorney, Philip Taubman, of TAUBMAN KIMELMAN & SOROKA LLP. who commenced suit.
"If it wasn't for the seriousness of the injuries and the trauma that Ms. Horowitz suffered you would think that the action of the Sea Gate police was a bad joke. It is like a modern day version of the Keystone Kops." The Keystone Kops were featured in silent film comedies as an insanely incompetent police force. Mr. Taubman noted.