Man gets $50,000 settlement after NYPD cops ruin his Christmas



It’s going to be a merrier Christmas for a Brooklyn man who sued the NYPD for ruining his family’s holiday.

And a Grinch-like cop will be getting a lump of coal in his stocking.

The city Law Department is paying $50,000 to Yahnick Martin to settle his federal lawsuit, according to court papers filed last week.

Martin claimed in the suit that he was hauled off in handcuffs and that his Chrysler van, packed with Christmas gifts, was stolen after cold-hearted cops left the vehicle unattended and with the engine running on a Brooklyn street.

“My family, we have to deal with this the rest of our lives, and there’s no amount of money that can take back what we missed out on that Christmas holiday,” Martin told the Daily News.

“I lost two aunts that following year who never got a chance to meet my children because we weren’t there for Christmas . . . It’s a tradition to go to South Carolina, (and) that was the only time I’ve ever missed Christmas at home.”

Officer Roman Goris learned a painful lesson, too: He was forced to kick in $500 toward the settlement and docked eight vacation days by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for improperly searching through Martin’s pockets during the initial stop-and-frisk in Bedford-Stuyvesant, The News has learned.

Martin’s suit reads like a Charles Dickens tale.

He was sitting in a rented van Dec. 23, 2011, while his wife dropped off a Christmas present to a friend.

Martin, a father of three, was smoking a cigar. That apparently aroused the suspicion of Goris and colleagues, who pulled up in a police van and claimed they smelled marijuana, according to the suit.

Goris patted down Martin, an action that was found, after the departmental trial, to be justified.

But after not feeling anything that might be a weapon, he still reached into the man’s pocket and removed his wallet and lighter, which a trial judge found was unjustified.

Martin mouthed off about the treatment and was handcuffed.

As police took Martin away, he implored them to secure the van, which was still running and contained his children’s car seats, clothing, his wife’s pocketbook, two cell phones and the Christmas gifts.

Predictably, someone drove off with the van.

It was recovered later — damaged and stripped of the valuables.

“That’s too bad. You should have thought of that before being a smartass,” a cop retorted, according to the court records.

Police gave Martin summonses for disorderly conduct, which were later dismissed.

Goris’ lawyer declined to comment.


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