MANHATTAN (CN) - Former Atlantic Hawks power forward Pero Antic wants New York City to pay for the beating its police officers gave him when they arrested him as he waited for a car outside a Chelsea night club.
A video of the arrest was posted and raised a ruckus: Antic's teammate Thabo Sefolosha's leg was broken in the scuffle.
Antic is from Macedonia and now lives in Istanbul and plays in the Turkish Basketball League. He has played for teams in the United States, Russia, Greece and Bulgaria. In 2013, he signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks.
Early last April, at 1 Oak in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, Antic and fellow Hawks forward Sefolasha shut down the bar late at the night.
That's when New York City police Officers Richard Caster, Paul Giacona, Daniel Dongvort and Michael Sullivan came at them, Antic says in his April 1 lawsuit in Federal Court.
Antic was arrested, but all charges were dismissed in September.
He and Sefolosha were arrested at 3 a.m. because they wouldn't leave the bar, Antic acknowledges in the lawsuit. Antic says he was making arrangements to get a car so he and his buddy could go back to their hotel. Suddenly, "without any provocation or probable cause," officers started pushing Sefolosha to the ground.
Antic stepped in, got pushed around and was arrested on bogus charges of disorderly conduct, he says.
The arrest and video made sports headlines worldwide.
Antic seeks damages for civil rights violations, malicious prosecution, false arrest, assault and battery, excessive force and negligence.
The lawsuit comes amid public outrage after former tennis pro James Blake, who is black, was tackled by plainclothes officer James Frascatore last October on a Manhattan sidewalk outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel. That incident too was caught on camera and went viral on social media sites.
The NYPD declined to comment on Antic's lawsuit.
Antic is represented by Derek S. Sells with the Cochran Firm in Manhattan.
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