MANHATTAN (CN) - New York police arrested and prosecuted a man four times for going to his mom's home, where he lived, then the New York Post defamed him by calling him a "homeless burglar," the man claims in court.
Aaron Lewitinn sued New York, an assistant district attorney in Richmond County, The New York Post and three of its reporters, in New York County Supreme Court. He also sued 15 Does, employees of the NYPD and the Richmond County District Attorney's Office.
"The City of New York, through the New York Police Department and the Richmond County District Attorney's Office, in a pattern of recklessness and wantonness, repeatedly arrested Lewitinn and subjected him to prosecution, only to eventually dismiss the cases in each and every action," the complaint states.
Lewitinn was arrested four times in 2010, on March 31, and Sept. 5, 10 and 12, at his mom's house in Staten Island. He lived there with her permission, Lewitinn says. Each time he was charged with criminal trespass, and each time the case was dropped - eventually. The last one was dismissed on Jan. 11, 2012.
On Sept. 15, 2010, the Post named him in its "NYPD Daily Blotter" column, calling him "a 'homeless burglar' who had broken into a home ... after he had 'busted the door frame and was in the basement, sifting through his pal's belongings. ...' The article is still on The New York Post's website at the filing of this complaint, and the article is the first entry in a Google search of 'Aaron Lewitinn,'" the complaint states.
"Defendants' unlawful conduct was knowing, malicious, willful and wanton and/or showed a reckless disregard for Lewitinn's rights, which has caused and continues to cause Lewitinn disgrace, humiliation and shame, and permanent harm to his professional and personal reputations, and severe mental anguish and mental distress."
Lewitinn, who has moved to Manhattan, seeks a restraining order and punitive damages for libel, malicious prosecution and emotional distress. He is represented by Bruno Bier.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.