VIDEO: NYPD officer allegedly assaults man for recording arrest on phone

An NYPD officer allegedly assaulted a man for recording him on his phone.

Shawn Thomas, 47, of New Rochelle accused Officer Efrain Rojas for assaulting and then arresting him simply because Thomas recorded the cop arresting another man at the Utica Avenue subway station. He claimed that Rojas also deleted the video from Thomas’ phone on Saturday after the altercation, but Thomas was able to recover it and upload the video to YouTube. Thomas also added footage from another passerby who witnessed and recorded the alleged assault.

In an interview with the website, Thomas said he was recording a peaceful arrest from a distance at the subway station when Rojas started recording him in return and then heckling him. The video above shows that Thomas was indeed recording the other man’s arrest from a reasonable distance before Rojas arrived on scene. After Rojas comes over and puts his own phone in Thomas’ face, they start arguing and Thomas tells Rojas he is invading his personal space. Rojas responds that Thomas is the one invading his space and Thomas points out that he was recording from a distance.

The video stops after Rojas tells Thomas he needs to leave the station and cuts to Thomas on the ground in the snow. Thomas told the website that Rojas tried to delete the video on his phone, took the battery out and forced him out of the station before slamming him onto the snow-covered sidewalk.

“He then knocked the phone out of my hand and slams me to the ground,” Thomas said. “Then he grabbed the back of my head and slammed it into the pavement.”

Thomas asked bystanders to record the incident and one man did capture video of Rojas arresting Thomas, who shouted his own name in the video. The witness found Thomas on Facebook and sent him the footage.

Thomas faces charges of resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing government. Thomas sent a copy of the arrest report, in which Rojas wrote that he was in “close proximity” to himself and the other officer as they made the first arrest.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.



  1. What happened to the “P” in CPR? Some people become cops because they want to fight crime. Some people become cops because they like to push people around. When they get rid of the latter, maybe the cops will get some of the “R” they need.