|Rochester, NY Police officer
Nicholas A. Thomas
Juan Montanez says Rochester, NY Police officer Nicholas A. Thomas tried to kill him.
It all started as Montanez, and his daughter Stephanie were going for a ride on their motor scooters Sunday afternoon.
As the pair were coming down Ave. D near the intersection of Hudson Ave., a Rochester Police car heading down Hudson Ave., made a right hand turn onto Ave. D, and in front of the pair.
"He was going very slow, and driving like he was going to pull over to the right", said Montanez.
Juan said he then put on his left turn signal, and went around the RPD cruiser, with his daughter following behind.
It was then that Juan noticed that the RPD cruiser pulled back off the side of the street, picking up speed, and began following the father and daughter closely behind.
As the pair crossed the intersection of Ave. D and Joseph Ave., the Rochester Police officer turned on his lights and pulled him over.
That RPD officer was Nicholas A. Thomas, badge 1851, driving cruiser E-24.
Montanez and his daughter Stephanie parked their scooters near the sidewalk.
According to Montanez, Thomas asked him why he was tailgating him.
Montanez replied that he was not tailgating him, that he simply thought the officer was pulling over since he was going so slow, so they went around him.
Thomas then asked Montanez if he had any weapons on him, as the officer lifted his shirt up.
Montanez replied that he did not.
It was then that Montanez says Thomas grabbed his arm and pepper sprayed him at close range with the noxious substance going right in his eyes.
Montanez's daughter Stephanie describes what she saw.
"The officer had a very bad attitude from the time he pulled us over", said Stephanie, before adding, "He grabbed my father's hand and pepper sprayed my dad right in his eyes."
"The officer kept spraying, then he called backup, a lady police officer with blonde hair and shades came , and the officer told me 'fall back before I spray you.'
At this point, more officers arrived, and three Rochester Police officers grabbed Stephanie, with one male officer grabbing the young woman from behind, putting her in a head and arm lock.
"They grabbed my arms behind me, locking them and placing his arms behind my neck, pushing my head forward, and threw me to the grass", said Stephanie.
"The officer then put his knee on my face, pushing down, and telling me to stop resisting, but I wasn't fighting, I was looking for my glasses which had fallen off when they threw me on the ground."
A neighbor on Ave. D, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation by Rochester Police officers, says he witnessed the RPD officers assaulting Stephanie.
"What really bothered me about the whole incident was how it was a male officer who put his hands on a young girl, putting her in a headlock position and throwing her to the ground, that was what really bothered me, a man putting his hands on a woman", said the man.
Stephanie says there was one Rochester Police officer whose behavior stood out from the rest.
"There was one officer who picked my glasses up and put them in my face, then they fell off again, and again, this officer put them on, as I was handcuffed", said Stephanie, before adding, "This officer was alright, he wasn't nasty to me, he told me to calm down and breathe."
Stephanie then said that she could hear her father screaming for help, saying that he couldn't breathe.
Juan Montanez says that he was having difficulty breathing and tried telling officer Nick Thomas this but Thomas ignored him.
Montanez says that after Rochester Police officer Nick Thomas pepper sprayed him, and he pleaded with officer Thomas to please help him as he couldn't breathe, Thomas turned around and told him he was giving him a headache, then got out of his car, opened the rear door, stepped in and pepper sprayed Montanez again, then put a spit mask over his head, and turned the cruiser's heat on.
After several minutes of having the heat cranked up, with Montanez's face covered in the mask, Thomas rolled down the window, as Montanez stuck his head out, gasping for air, and throwing up.
Montanez says officer Thomas then drove his cruiser up the street, with Montanez still gasping for air with his head and upper body outside the window.
Officer Thomas then got out, pushed Montanez back in, and rolled the window back up.
Montanez recalls another Rochester Police officer coming over to the car and telling officer Thomas to take Montanez to the hospital.
Thomas replied to the officer "It's just pepper spray."
In the video below, Montanez, a construction worker and family man, becomes emotional as he talks about his horrific experience in the back of a Rochester Police cruiser, and not being able to breath, after being pepper sprayed, and having a mask placed over his head and face.
Montanez was taken to the Monroe County Jail and charged with Resisting Arrest, Harassment 2nd, and Following Too Closely.
Bail was set at $ 650.00.
Montanez's daughter Stephanie was also taken to Monroe County Jail and charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration (O.G.A.) 2nd, Resisting Arrest, and Disorderly Conduct.
Stephanie's bail was set at $ 1,100.00.
Stephanie's mom Julie, said she can't believe what Rochester, NY Police officers did to her family.
"I was shopping, and as I was heading home I saw the scooters, and my daughter's scooter was laying on its side and I saw the mirror was broken, I thought my daughter had been in an accident!"
"I went and bailed them out, seventeen hundred and fifty dollars, money I had to pay our bills."
I will be updating this post soon.
Click Play to watch video of Stephanie describing incident
Click Play to watch video of Juan Montanez describing incident
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