Man sues Suffolk County police officer after taser used during traffic stop

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By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Long Island man is suing a Suffolk police officer in a federal lawsuit for excessive force, alleging the officer used a taser on him during an apparent traffic stop.According to 52-year-old Craig Costello, the January 3 incident took place after he exited the parking lot of a CVS located on Montauk Highway in West Islip.Costello who alleges he was followed by the officer, claims he didn’t notice that a Suffolk officer had his lights on.

He said he was texting in his car when he says the officer pulled up next to him and rolled down his window.

Costello said of the officer, "he's looking at me and he's like, 'Hi,'" ABC-7 reports.Costello said the officer drove away while Costello continued driving less than a mile to his brother's house.

It wasn't until he exited his car that Costello said he saw bright, flashing lights of the police car and saw the uniformed officer running at him.

"I didn’t know he was behind me until I actually physically stood out of my car and looked and saw the light," Costello told News 12. "And then, out of the light, comes some guy running at me with a gun pointed at my head and throws a kick at my chest."Moments later, Ring video captured Costello shouting at the officer, "Dude, I don't even know who you are!"The officer then fires the taser, and Costello falls to the ground while yelling in pain.The officer demands Costello stay down and put his hands behind his back.Costello asks the officer why he tased him."What did I do? Who are you?" Costello asks the officer."Put your hands on your back. I'll tase you again," the officer responded.Costello asks him again why the officer tased him."I already told you," the officer answered.Costello was arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

He had several unresolved traffic violations causing his license to be suspended but his attorney Alexander Klein alleges "the use of a Taser gun and a bolt of electricity into Craig’s chest was not reasonable under these circumstances by any stretch.""Physical force against the Plaintiff was not needed," lawsuit documents state. "The Plaintiff was not using or threatening physical force against the Defendant, was not resisting arrest, was not under suspicion for a violent crime, and the circumstances were not exigent. Even if force was needed, which it was not, the degree of force against the Plaintiff was grossly excessive."The Suffolk County Police Department would not comment due to pending litigation.