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Old 10-21-2019, 08:25 AM   #1
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Brutal rob at city jail
Ma tells how she was Tased & beaten in ripoff of $30G she brought to bail out son and then stymied by coverup

By Rocco Parascandola and Larry McShane

New York Daily News

A jittery mom, her purse stuffed with $30,000 cash, walked into the Manhattan Detention Center to bail out her son.
Seven hours later, the money was gone. The son was still behind bars. And the 69-year old mother was inside a hospital emergency room, the victim of a merciless robbery that haunts her to this day.
In a detailed and disturbing Manhattan lawsuit, Linda Shapiro says she was twice victimized for her May 10, 2016, mission of maternal mercy: First in a brazen setup where Correction Department workers conspired with two sadistic bandits to steal her cash.
And then by a continuing coverup as Correction Department officials allegedly stonewalled the investigation of the still-unsolved lower Manhattan crime.
Shapiro, a 69-year-old psychotherapist, suffers PTSD and harrowing flashbacks to the attack where she was twice tasered, slammed repeatedly against a wall and left writhing in agony while correction workers watched without offering aid or summoning help, her lawyer claims.
Shapiro, the lingering anxiety apparent in her halting voice, shared the details of that long, terrifying afternoon with the Daily News.
“They came in screaming,” Shapiro said of her two assailants inside the White St. bail office. “The first guy was big. And the guy behind him, I see that guy coming at me. I thought he had a gun. I thought he was going to shoot me. But it was a Taser.
“I’m thinking ‘Oh my God,’ ” she continued. “It seemed liked everything was in slow motion. It felt like so long before they actually came toward me …. He slams me against the back wall, my head really cracks against this wall. I see the red flash from the Taser and he jams it into the ribs on my right side. Actually breaks my rib.”
The two crooks — one in a red, hooded jacket, the other wearing a baseball cap — went straight for Shapiro and her bag, she recalled. No surprise there: Shapiro, eager to spring her son, told Correction Department workers several times she was carrying $30,000 in cash, court papers say.
The victim remembers watching at least 15 people post bail without delay during her long wait as Correction Department workers claimed to be waiting for her son’s release papers. Shapiro recalled one employee actually encouraging her to go shopping rather than wait inside — an apparent effort to get her off city property before the crime went down, her lawyer alleges.
Shapiro instead remained in the office, too nervous and focused on her jailed son to even use the bathroom.
Correction Department workers, after witnessing the beatdown, waited an hour and 20 minutes before calling police, court papers claim. By then, the crooks had made a getaway with her cash and Shapiro was in the hospital after a passing lawyer saw her collapsed on the street and called 911.
The desperate mom left the hospital the next day despite her injuries to borrow another $30,000 from a family member and returned to the scene of the crime to successfully bail out her son.
Her attorney Gerard Bilotto, after a “tooth and nail” legal fight to obtain the Correction Department’s security video, received only 15 innocuous minutes out of the seven hours that he sought. Bilotto said both he and Shapiro previously viewed video of the attack with detectives at the 5th Precinct, and a police report confirms there were cameras at the location.
The Correction Department further impeded the NYPD’s investigation by refusing to allow employee witnesses to sit for questioning, leading to the long delay in bringing the case to trial, Bilotto charges. The two sides are due back in court next month.
“There’a major coverup going on here,” said the outraged lawyer, who filed the Shapiro suit in April 2017. “I think they were setting her up. Nobody’s been arrested at all. And trying to get any information from these people is just impossible. They won’t give you any. Nothing.”
The NYPD, while declining to address the allegation about a lack of Correction Department cooperation, asked anyone with information on the case to contact their Crime Stoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS or www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
The Correction Department referred a call for comment to the city’s Law Department, where a spokesman dismissed Shapiro’s claims.
“The plaintiff has not substantiated any of these allegations,” the spokesman said. “We’ll know more about what actually happened in this case as we proceed with discovery.”
But Bilotto alleges in court papers that the NYPD has already made it clear what occurred.
“The NYPD investigations revealed that the only way the perpetrators knew about Ms. Shapiro and the cash she carried was by some communication between the perpetrators and the DOC [Department of Correction] personnel,” he wrote in a court filing earlier this year.
“However, the DOC prevented the NYPD trained investigators [from questioning] any of the DOC personnel and … thwarted the entire investigative process.”
Shapiro, as she awaits her day in court, continues to suffer. She spent two weeks dealing with her posttraumatic stress disorder inside a psychiatric ward and even longer struggling with her physical and emotional well-being.
“My life has changed because of this whole thing,” she said. “I can’t travel. I can’t get on a plane. I’m afraid to walk on the street by myself. I get palpitations just talking about this. I’m amazed at how it doesn’t go away.”
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