A Brooklyn woman said a New York City police officer hurled homophobic slurs before attacking her and falsely arresting her.
Stephanie Dorceant and her ex-girlfriend filed a federal lawsuit Monday, two weeks after the 29-year-old was cleared of all charges in the case, reported the Huffington Post.
Dorceant and her then-girlfriend were walking back to their apartment in the Flatbush neighborhood when an off-duty officer, Salvator Aquino, bumped her from behind.
She asked Aquino, who was not in uniform, whether he was “alright” — but her suit accuses him of responding with an obscenity and homophobic slur.
“Mind your own business you f*cking dyke,” the officer allegedly told her.
Dorceant said Aquino then punched her in the face several times, choked her and continued to use anti-LGBT slur.
“I truly thought I was going to die,” said Dorceant, a journalist and filmmaker. “I could not breathe. The only way I could get him to stop attacking me and my girlfriend was to bite him.”
Other officers responded to the attack, but they arrested Dorceant and her girlfriend instead of helping them.
“When other police officers showed up, I thought we were saved,” Dorceant said. “That was not the case. It turned out that this man was an off-duty police officer.”
The other officers piled on, slamming Dorceant onto the pavement and placing her in handcuffs, the lawsuit claims.
She was treated for facial injuries and a burst blood vessel in her eye before she was booked into jail on assault, menacing, resisting arrest and harassment charges.
Aquino told police that Dorceant had attacked him, and he told prosecutors that he was afraid he “might have HIV” from the woman’s bite.
She spent over a day in a jail cell, which she said was covered in feces and urine, before she was released on $1,000 bond.
Prosecutors read that statement during Dorceant’s arraignment, and she later tested negative for the virus.
A grand jury on Dec. 1 dismissed all charges against Dorceant, who said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the attack.
She said the incident also contributed to a breakup with her ex-girlfriend.
The women are seeking unspecified damages in the federal civil rights suit, which alleges battery, unlawful stop, malicious prosecution and false arrest.
Watch this interview with Dorceant posted online by BRIC TV: