Published: November 22, 2013
Publication: Daily News
By John Marzulli
George Capsis, 85, of Manhattan, admitted slapping Officer Juan Perez after an argument over a police van that Capsis said was blocking a bike lane. The city settled a lawsuit filed by Capsis. But now Perez is suing the gadfly for allegedly assaulting and defaming him.
George Capsis of the West Village received $45,000 to settle an excessive-force lawsuit he filed against the NYPD. Now an officer he admits slapping in the incident is suing him for assaulting and defaming him.
An 85-year-old Manhattan man who pocketed $45,000 from the city to settle an excessive force lawsuit against the NYPD is now being sued by one of the cops involved in the encounter, the Daily News has learned.
George Capsis, publisher of the Westview News, admits he slapped Officer Juan Perez in the face, but the cop argues in his suit that he was battered by the elderly gadfly, and later defamed in his newspaper.
A lawyer for Capsis said his client is being victimized a second time by Perez. “I think Perez’s lawsuit is a public disgrace,” attorney Arthur Schwartz fumed.
Capsis’ federal lawsuit, settled earlier this month, alleged the octogenarian was slugged in the face and falsely arrested last year by Perez’s police partner Christian Rich after Capsis complained that their police van was blocking a bicycle lane. Capsis now says Perez was the one who punched him.
Perez, who is assigned to the NYPD’s 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village, contends in his countersuit that Capsis struck him in the head as he tried to “gently guide” the elderly man to the sidewalk.
George Capsis admitted slapping NYPD Officer Juan Perez after an argument over a police van that Capsis said was blocking a bike lane.
Perez suffered lacerations, and also claims that he was defamed by Capsis in his community newspaper, which published the statement, “You don’t smash your fist into an old man with glasses,” according to the suit.
Capsis disagreed, saying Perez’s name was never published. He said he regrets slapping Perez, but argued that the idea that he beat up the cop was laughable. “I’m no Charles Atlas and I don’t work out,” Capsis said.
Criminal charges filed against Capsis were later dismissed, his lawyer said. Last summer Capsis slapped a state senator and an intern at a rally for mayoral candidate Christine Quinn. But he was not arrested in that dustup.