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Elderly man beaten bloody by police during New York City jaywalking arrest

By Travis Gettys
Monday, January 20, 2014 8:16 EDT
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Kang Wong
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An elderly man was hospitalized Sunday evening after he was beaten by police who stopped him for jaywalking.

The New York Post reported that 84-year-old Kang Wong crossed 96th Street against the light about 5 p.m. as he walked north on Broadway, and an officer ordered him to stop.

But Wong, who lives a block away, didn’t seem to understand the officer, according to witnesses.

“The guy didn’t seem to speak English,” said witness Ian King, 24, a Fordham University law student.

“(The officer) stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket,” King said. “The man didn’t seem to understand, and he started walking away. The cop tried to pull him back, and that’s when he began to struggle with the cop. As soon as he pushed the cop, it was like cops started running in from everywhere.”

Wong was bleeding and dazed after the struggle, witnesses said, and had cuts on his face.

WNBC-TV reported that officers asked Wong afterward why he refused to show his identification, but he insisted to police in Spanish that he had.

He was taken in handcuffs to St. Luke’s Hospital and later taken to the 24th Precinct station house, the newspaper reported.

“The cops are playing games,” said Wong’s son, a 41-year-old lawyer who declined to give his name. “They won’t tell me what he’s being charged with.”

He said police called him to ask if his elderly father needed medication, but he said officers wouldn’t say to which hospital they’d brought his father.

The son said he later found out on his own that his father was arrested for jaywalking.

“Oh, great! Beating up on an 84-year-old man for jaywalking,’’ the son said.

Wong was eventually booked and charged with jaywalking, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

The elderly man was sent home with family members with a desk-appearance ticket.

Another son said the family planned to press charges against the police, and a police department representative said the incident was under internal review.

Police had been targeting jaywalkers in the area after a third pedestrian death this month near West 96th Street, including one just 12 hours earlier.

Watch this video report posted online by WNBC-TV:

 
 
 
 
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