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SKETCHES OF COURT: Jury Favors Defendant in Coney Island Assault and Battery Trial

February 12, 2016 By Alba Acevedo Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Court sketch by Alba Acevedo
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In this courtroom sketch, Hon. Bernard Graham listens as the plaintiff’s attorney John Nonnenmacher (standing), of the law firm Bader Yakaitis & Nonnenmacher, questions a witness in the assault and battery trial Velasquez v. City of New York. 

In July of 2011, a crowd at Coney Island grew confrontational. Lifeguards employed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department had intervened on behalf of a woman being assaulted, but a melee ensued and the lifeguards found themselves the target of an assault. 

Alfredo Velasquez, 30, brought a lawsuit against the city, claiming that he was unjustly and repeatedly beaten and tackled by the lifeguards. He alleges serious back injury, resulting in bulging discs and herniations for which he underwent surgery. He also sustained a broken nose and a facial cut requiring stiches. Valerie Parisi (on the witness stand), a certified rehabilitation nurse, testified as a life care planner on behalf of the plaintiff. Velasquez was employed as a hospital custodian, but claims that his injuries and pain have prevented him from resuming work since the incident. 

Travis J. Podesta (at right) of the New York City Law Department represented the lifeguards, who believed at that time that Velasquez was involved. 

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The jury returned a verdict for the defendant, maintaining that the assault did not occur and that the public area was maintained in a reasonably safe condition.

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