Daniel Pantaleo (pictured), the officer who placed Eric Garner in a chokehold, leading to his death, allegedly touched the genitals of two men he pulled over in a traffic stop, the New York Daily News reports.
A complaint filed by Darren Collins and Tommy Rice against Pantaleo with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) claims the officer “slapped” and “tapped” their testicles during the March 2012 incident on Staten Island.
Pantaleo, along with three fellow undercover officers, allege that Collins and Rice were involved in a drug transaction.
After the men left their vehicle, “PO Pantaleo then removed Mr. Rice’s belt, causing Mr. Rice’s pants to sag down to the middle of his thigh,” the CCRB document claims. “Mr. Rice was wearing boxer shorts under his pants and they became visible when his pants started to sag.”
The document added that “PO Pantaleo pulled Mr. Rice’s pants down to his knees and then pulled his boxer shorts down.”
Pantaleo then slapped Rice’s privates, apparently “attempting to shake out any contraband Mr. Rice might be hiding,” the document revealed.
Collins told CCRB investigators a similar account. He claimed Pantaleo and another sergeant took off his belt, shoelaces, shoes and socks and pulled his pants and underwear to his knees.
Officers found no contraband on either man. However, another person in the vehicle had heroin on him.
After a thorough investigation, the allegations were determined unsubstantiated because it was Collins’ and Rice’s words against Pantaleo’s who denied the allegations.
Pantaleo’s claim, though, that another officer radioed him about a drug transaction didn’t hold, because that officer told the CCRB he hadn’t seen any such transactions.
Charges against Rice and Collins were also dismissed, with both settling in court for $15,000 each earlier this year.
Jason Leventhal, a lawyer for both men, said their claims show Pantaleo does not respect his professional boundaries.
“I think Pantaleo has no respect for the law and his superiors approve of his conduct,” Rosenthal said.