BY DENIS SLATTERY, MARCO POGGIO, AND ANDREW KESHNER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A disabled man claims he was forced to drag himself through urine, spit, and vomit and sleep on the filthy floor of a jail cell after uncaring cops took away his wheelchair, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Brooklyn.
Baron Walker said he was left to rot on the cold concrete floor of a Brooklyn Central Booking cell for more than 42 hours after a bogus arrest.
The 52-year-old, paralyzed from the waist down during a gun battle in 1989, says cops raided the Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment where he lives with his 80-year-old mother in April 2015 — charging him with selling marijuana.
“I told them I don’t sell weed. The only weed I have is the one I smoke,” Walker recalled telling the cops. He asked to see the search warrant but was told by one of the officers “not to worry,” and never saw one, he said.
He was first taken to the 79th Precinct stationhouse and then to central booking in downtown Brooklyn ahead of his arraignment.
Once there, he said he was removed from his wheelchair, dragged into a holding cell and left on the cement floor.
“I was basically trash on the floor,” Walker said. “I just had to lay there.”
Mats and cots are available at the jail, but Walker said he had to endure two nights on the ground without bedding. He did get the seat cushion from his wheelchair.
“The floor of the holding cell was filthy and unsanitary, covered with urine, toilet paper, spit, vomit, remnants of prisoner meals and vermin,” the lawsuit says, noting Walker couldn’t pull himself up to a bench or reach food provided to prisoners.
Food for detainees was put in a box near the cell gate. Walker was “forced to use his hands to drag his body across the filthy floor” to get to the food, according to the suit.
He said his stay wasn’t just revolting, it was shockingly long.
Arraignments, by law, are meant to take place within 24 hours of an arrest.
After nearly two brutal days, Walker was finally arraigned, pleading guilty to disorderly conduct because cops didn’t have enough evidence for the felony pot charges they originally wanted. He was released on time served.
“I copped out to that because of the torture I received,” Walker said. “There was no way in hell they were gonna take me back and put me back on that concrete floor.”
Brooklyn Central Booking conditions have been put under the microscope before. Walker’s lawsuit cites cases suing over conditions as early as 2001.
“We will review the complaint,” a Law Department spokesman said of Walker’s suit.
The city’s already trying to fight off one pending case from 20 former detainees who described deplorable conditions at a temporary central booking site on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.
On Tuesday, Walker’s attorneys also filed a similar lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court for a man who uses a wheelchair and complained that he was handcuffed to a cell.]