Urine Test Spat Makes a Splash in Federal Court

     BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) – A man who was allegedly beaten for complaining about the wait time for his urine test can press false-arrest claims after being sent to prison for seven months on dropped assault charges, a federal judge ruled.



     Marvin Anderson of the Bronx says that his union sent him to Parkway Hospital for medical treatment on Oct. 14, 2005, where he says the staff told him to give them a urine sample – without telling where to drop it.
     Anderson says he waited “a considerable amount of time” for further instructions, and he was “spoken to very harshly and told to sit down” when he raised the issue again.
     According to court documents, Anderson accused the staff of treating him poorly because he was a “young black man” and told them that he wanted to leave.
     Instead, the hospital summoned two guards, one of whom, Alex Liriano, allegedly roughed up Anderson in front of the security cameras.
     Anderson says his eye nearly swelled shut from the beating.
     When three police officers later arrived on the scene, Anderson claims they ignored his demands to look at the security tapes and arrest Liriano.
     Instead the officers – James Petronella, William Larkin and third, unidentified cop -sent Anderson straight to Rikers Island, where he says he spent seven months for failing to post bail.
     His criminal case was dismissed on June 22, 2007.
     Anderson filed a federal complaint months later against the cops and New York City, though Liriano is not named as a defendant.
     The officers tried to get the case dismissed by saying that they had responded to a 911 phone call about a disorderly person in the hospital. They said they found a bruised security guard but that Anderson was uninjured and “agitated.”
     On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto ruled that a jury should decide which side to flush.
     For now, the cops and the city are still on the hook for claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution and retaliation for free speech.
     Anderson’s attorney, Anthony Ofodile, praised the judge’s opinion in a phone interview, and said that he did not know what happened to the urine sample after the scuffle.

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