Charged with driving while intoxicated after a police SUV crashed into his car, a Brooklyn man recently received nearly $1 million from the city due to the fact that tests found no trace of alcohol or drugs in his system. According to the innocent man’s attorney, the officers involved filed false charges in order to cover up the fact that the cop driving the SUV ran a stop sign moments before the crash.
Around 1:30 a.m. on April 19, 2015, Oliver Wiggins was driving his 2004 Nissan Maxima when a marked NYPD police vehicle occupied by five officers ran through a stop sign without activating its lights or siren. T-boned by a Police Department Ford SUV, Wiggins took a Breathalyzer test at the scene, but no trace of alcohol was detected.
According to police reports, Wiggins had red, watery eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The accident report failed to mention that the police SUV illegally ran a stop sign before colliding into the side of Wiggins’ Nissan.
At the hospital, blood tests revealed that Wiggins did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system. Although Wiggins does not drink, he was arrested and charged with DWI.
With his driver’s license suspended, Wiggins had to pay the repair bill for his 2004 Nissan Maxima because his insurance company would not cover the damages due to the fraudulent DWI charge. Wiggins also sustained damage to his right arm that will require surgery to his wrist.
“I think the whole thing was insane,” Wiggins told the New York Daily News. “They ran a stop sign and I think they were trying to hide that they caused the accident.”
Three months after Wiggins’ arrest, prosecutors dismissed the charges. Wiggins later filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the city and the arresting officer, Justin Joseph, as well as the other officers involved: Jason Conway, Greg Gingo, Matthew Sabella, and Chris Connor.
The city recently decided to settle the lawsuit and awarded Wiggins nearly $1 million. Although Wiggins’ attorney sent a letter in July 2015 to the district attorney requesting an investigation into the officers’ misconduct, no criminal charges have been filed against the officers, who remain employed by the NYPD.