March 3, 2007 at the La Fonda Resturant in Yonkers, New York, Irma Marquez suffered injuries when Yonkers police officer Wayne Simoes picked her up in a restaurant and appeared to slam her face-first into the restaurant’s floor.
As reported by News 12 :
“A decade after the incident, the city, and the victim have agreed to settle a related lawsuit.
Video of the encounter made national headlines. It showed officer Wayne Simoes slam Irma Marquez to the ground — knocking her out outside what was then the La Fonda Restaurant at 57 Palisades Ave. Marquez has maintained that she was trying to break up a fight involving her niece, but police were already there when she stepped in.
Simoes faced federal charges of violating her civil rights. Marquez faced local charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with police. Both of them were acquitted.
In May 2008, Marquez filed an $11.3 million lawsuit against Simoes and the Yonkers Police Department. Sources say the settlement was for $1 million, but officials would not comment on the record until City Council has a chance to evaluate the settlement. That will likely happen in August, according to Michael Curti, a lawyer for the city.”
The local version of the USA Today reported :
“Yonkers’ attorney Michael Curti said the city admitted no wrongdoing by the police officer. Curti said the settlement was less than the $11 million initially sought by Marquez.
“The final amount of the settlement, which is the culmination of close to a decade of litigation, is similar to an amount the city’s legal team was prepared to recommend many years ago to avoid the uncertainties of trial and the substantial cost of litigation,” Curti wrote in an email.
Marquez filed her civil lawsuit against the city and Simoes in 2008 and the case was closed on July 10 because of the settlement, according to court records.
The incident, which was captured on video, led to a criminal prosecution of Simoes, now a Yonkers police sergeant. Simoes was acquitted of a charge of violating Marquez’s civil rights in 2009 after federal prosecutors failed to prove to a jury that he intended to hurt her.
In that trial, Simoes’ defense contended that he did not throw Marquez to the ground, but that he slipped on the wet barroom floor. After the trial, jurors said a frame-by-frame version of the video showed that Simoes didn’t throw or drop Marquez because he never released her on the way to the floor.” The video show otherwise.