HEAVILY ARMED police commandos battered a senior couple and killed their dog inside their Brooklyn home — and now the city will pay $300,000 to settle the case.
Breast cancer survivor Elaine McCarthy, now 71, was reading a Bible in her Canarsie bedroom, and partially paralyzed stroke victim Egbert Thomas, 73, was watching a John Wayne flick on TV when at least five Emergency Service Unit cops rammed through a basement door on Sept. 6, 2008, and began their rampage.
The cops — led by an officer who would later commit suicide after another allegation of excessive force, court papers show — weren’t in hot pursuit of a perp, which could have explained why they tossed the seniors aside like rag dolls.
In fact, the officers had a warrant only to collect evidence against the couple’s adult grandson, who had been arrested the previous day for having an illicit relationship with a teenage girlfriend.
After hearing the police barge in uninvited, McCarthy sent her 8-year-old granddaughter downstairs to check on the noise. The little girl dutifully reported back, “Grandma, the basement is full of police,” according to court papers.
McCarthy went to investigate, and a shotgun-toting cop promptly wrenched her arm behind her back. She was then handcuffed and thrown to the floor. She has had two surgeries on her shoulder and knee to repair the damage.
Thomas hadn’t heard the ruckus and was hobbling to the bathroom when he heard someone shout, “Hey, boy, where are you going?” court papers state.
Thomas was grabbed by his collar and flung to the floor. But an unidentified cop muttered “Oh, s--t!” when he realized the senior citizen was infirm and could not get up, according to Thomas’ deposition.
He suffered a broken arm.
“They could have just rang the bell, said they had a warrant and come in to take what they were looking for,” McCarthy told the Daily News. “They hurt two people for no reason. It was totally wrong.”
In addition, the couple’s pit bull, Trouble, was whacked by a cop with his heavy ballistic shield and died three days later.
"What happened to this elderly couple should not happen to anyone in this city, particularly its senior citizens," said Thomas and McCarthy's lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein.
The police raiders were led by Lt. Michael Pigott, who would make headlines three weeks after the Canarsie raid when he gave the order to Taser an emotionally disturbed man perched on the ledge of a Brooklyn building.
That man, Iman Morales, fell to his death, and Pigott committed suicide after police officials questioned his actions.
A city Law Department spokesman said the settlement with McCarthy and Thomas, which came last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court, was “in the parties’ best interest.”