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Posted by Boghound on December 28, 2010


Police ‘mistake cig break for suicide bid’

A New York man is suing police for more than £250,000 after two officers mistook his cigarette break for a suicide attempt.

Mark Moody, 40, was enjoying a cigarette on the window ledge of his apartment when a police car rolled up, reports the New York Post.

Two officers jumped out, asked him if he was planning to commit suicide and ordered him to come downstairs but Mr Moody refused, saying he was having a cigarette.

The officers then burst into the second floor apartment, grabbed him from behind, restrained and cuffed him and then carted him off to psychiatric hospital.

Mr Moody, a lawyer, says he always takes his cigarette breaks on the window ledge – which is only 12ft above the ground.

"If I was going to commit suicide, this would be a pretty dumb place to do it," he said. "If I jumped from here, I’d just sprain my ankle."

Mr Moody says he was thrown into an ambulance and taken to Beth Israel Medical Center where a psychiatrist quickly discharged him.

"I talked to him for three minutes, and he said: "Look, I’m really sorry. I apologise on behalf of the city"," he said.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said: "Police responded to a 911 call of an emotionally disturbed person at the location.

"When police arrived, they observed the male sitting on the ledge talking erratically. Police emergency service officers were called, and the person was removed to the hospital for observation."

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