A 19-year-old beauty queen said she plans on suing the city for millions after police stopped, frisked and handcuffed her and her mother.
Kristy Abreu, Miss Westchester, and her mother were pulled from their car in Harlem and locked in a holding cell for hours, but never charged, the pair told The New York Daily News. Abreu and her mother said they plan on suing the city for $210 million for the police's treatment.
"We were treated like animals," said Abreu, who lives in the Bronx with her parents.
On May 5, Abreu and her mother were heading to a fashion show where the beauty queen was supposed to make a guest appearance. Around 9 p.m., cops stopped their car for a minor traffic violation near W. 145th St. and Eighth Ave, the pair told the Daily News.
"Where's the party at?" one cop allegedly asked the women after making the stop.
Abreu and her mother said they showed the police valid registration and insurance information, but they were still handcuffed and taken to the 32nd Precinct because the cops thought their car was stolen.
The women said they were stopped last year, too, but it was a computer glitch that made cops think they stole the car.
Miss Westchester and her mother were put in a cell with other suspects and then threatened and humiliated, the women said. They weren't allowed to drink water, eat, go to the bathroom or use a telephone. Another suspect called them names that made the women cry.
Only one female officer of some 15 involved in the incident helped Abreu dry her tears.
After two hours, police released Abreu so she could retrieve the car's title documents. Her mother was released several hours later, around 5 a.m. the next day, when Abreu and her father brought the paperwork to the station.
"It was the worst night of my life," she said. "It haunts me every day."
City lawyers did not comment to the Daily News, saying they haven't yet received notice for the claim.
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