From [HERE] and [HERE] A Union County woman who says she was brutally assaulted, falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted for calling 911 to report that she didn’t feel safe alone with the trooper during a traffic stop in Bridgewater in 2016 has filed a federal lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police.
According to a federal civil lawsuit filed in New Jersey’s district court, Krya Harrison said her “false arrest and malicious prosecution” was a coverup for what really happened during the traffic stop on I-287. She said she was yelled at, dragged from her car to the police cruiser and her head slammed into the concrete.
Troopers and State Police officials were served last week with the suit, which outlined 14 allegations. including unreasonable and excessive force used by troopers and racial discrimination. Harrison describes herself in the lawsuit as an African-American woman living in Union County,
State Police Superintendent Joseph Fuentes, troopers Rafael R. Castro, Nicholas R. Decesare, Jonathan Lopuski, Dana A. Wilcomes, Jeffrey Almeida, and other unnamed troopers are defendants in the lawsuit. A State Police spokesman declined to comment on current litigation.
A timeline of events spread out over two years is included in the suit, and explains how Harrison was indicted twice for calling 911 without a purpose.
A judge dismissed the criminal indictment against Harrison the first time once Harrison’s attorney noted in a motion the state failed to present the troopers the MVR and 911 calls to the jury. However, state indicted her again. This time, a jury acquitted her in September of the same charge involving the 911 call. However, they did find her guilty of a single disorderly person charge and fined her $1,000.
Back in November 2016, Trooper Castro pulled Harrison over as she was driving south on I-287. Castro told her he pulled her over because she passed him on the right shoulder and because he didn’t like the way she was wearing her seatbelt, according to the lawsuit.
During the stop, Harrison called 911 to request a sergeant come to the scene because, she said, she was alarmed by Castro’s demeanor and his failure to stop other cars that had also passed his car on the right. Audio recordings from the 911 call revealed Harrison did request a sergeant, and Castro can be heard telling her that she did not need to call his sergeant.
On Castro’s mobile video recorder, Harrison can be heard saying “I’m scared,” “I’m extremely scared,” and “I’m calling for help because I’m scared.”
Harrison said she got out her license, registration and insurance card but Castro would not take them and then said he was arresting her for not providing those same documents.
Next, the woman said the trooper dragged her from her car, dropped her to the ground and slammed her head into the concrete, stuck his knee in her back, handcuffed her and dragged her across the ground to his patrol cruiser.
Harrison was sitting in the back of the patrol car crying when Castro yanked her arm, told her to “shut the fu-- up" and pushed her head to the floor, according to the lawsuit.
During the violent encounter, Harrison can be heard on the radio transmission screaming asking for help, saying she was dizzy and could not breathe.
Next, other state troopers including Decesare, Lopuski, Wilcomes and Almeida arrived on the scene. Initially, Castro said Harrison refused treatment but troopers did take her to the local hospital where she was examined for a head injury then she was released back into state police custody.
After processing and fingerprinting, Trooper Wilcomes dropped Harrison off at the Bridgewater Mall, and, according to the suit, handed her her license, registration and insurance card along with more than 13 summons issued by Castro, including tickets for failure to possess a driver’s license or registration, maintenance of lamps, failure to wear equipment/seatbelt, improper passing and failure to keep right.
Two days later, Harrison went back to the doctor with neck and upper body pain, and was diagnosed with thoracic spine fracture, left shoulder sprain/strain and neck sprain/strain, according to the lawsuit.