An Oakdale man filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday against a Suffolk County police officer, alleging the cop used excessive force when he fired his Taser on him during an encounter that was captured on surveillance video. One of Costello's attorneys, Alexander Klein of Garden City, said in the lawsuit that the amount of force used against Costello was "unreasonable" given that Costello was not resisting arrest or under suspicion for a violent crime.
In an interview with Newsday, Costello said he was texting his girlfriend in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy about 11 p.m. just a few blocks from his brother's home, where he was housesitting. The officer drove up beside him, asked what he was doing, but then drove away, according to Costello, who said he then drove home. It wasn't until he got out of his car in the driveway that he saw the flashing lights of the officer's patrol car, Costello said.
Costello was ultimately arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle as he had several unresolved traffic violations causing his license to be suspended. “Whether or not Mr. Costello committed a traffic violation was beside the point. What is at issue here is the textbook use of excessive force, where there’s simply no justification at all for the officer’s conduct,” said attorney Bruce Barket in an interview with News12.
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