The president of the Hampton Jitney last week accepted a $150,000 settlement of a lawsuit he filed four years ago against Suffolk County and one of its police officers, claiming he was unlawfully assaulted, battered and Tasered following a traffic stop four years ago. The suit also claimed his property was unlawfully searched and he was unlawfully arrested.
Geoffrey Lynch, who turned 44 on Tuesday, had just gotten off a Jitney bus from New York City and was driving a Mercedes southbound on County Road 111 in Manorville, on his way home to Quogue, where he lived at the time, when, shortly before 1 a.m. on April 22, 2009, he was pulled over by Suffolk County Police Officer John F. Monahan, the civil rights lawsuit and Mr. Lynch said.
Mr. Lynch admitted to speeding at 65 mph, according to the suit. The officer ordered him out of his car and asked if he had been drinking. Mr. Lynch said no. He was then directed to get behind his car, hands on trunk. Mr. Lynch put his driver’s license in his mouth and complied.
When Officer Monahan asked him where he was coming from, Mr. Lynch removed his license from his mouth and turned to face the officer to speak more clearly, the suit says. That’s when the officer yelled at him to get his hands back on the trunk.
When Mr. Lynch said no, the officer called for back-up.
“Are you going to shoot me now?” Mr. Lynch asked.
“At that moment, Monahan shot Lynch in the chest and stomach with sharp probes from a Taser device and incapacitated him with an electrical charge,” the suit states.
Mr. Lynch was thrown backward by the jolt and landed on his back on the highway, it continues. The officer rolled him onto his chest, handcuffed him and said, “I bet you wish you didn’t resist me now,” the suit states.
The officer then grabbed Mr. Lynch by the back of his jacket, lifted him off the ground, stood him up and threw him face-first into the pavement on the shoulder, it says.
Mr. Lynch said he blacked out and woke up in a pool of blood, bleeding profusely. He was later taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for treatment, but not before more than one officer apparently searched the inside of his car, briefcase and other belongings, according to the suit. Only at the hospital was Mr. Lynch informed he was under arrest.
He was charged with resisting arrest, third-degree unlawful fleeing of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and third-degree menacing, all misdemeanors, as well as two counts of failure to maintain his lane, failure to signal, speeding and tailgating, all violations.
Mr. Lynch, who now lives in Sag Harbor, said this week all of the charges were dropped except speeding.
“It’s a moment in my life that I’m not particularly proud of,” he said. “I’m trying to put it behind me.”
The officer, meanwhile, reportedly remains on active duty.