Article from NYPost.com
A 14-year veteran NYPD cop suffered a serious leg injury Wednesday when an erratic career criminal awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court got into a scuffle with officers, law enforcement sources said.
David Mariano, 38, was about to be arraigned on assault charges when he started struggling with two officers from the 25th Precinct who were transporting him, sources said. The veteran cop tried to assist the officers when Mariano “fell” on his left leg, knocking him over in pain, sources said.
The scuffle happened just before 2 p.m. on the first floor of 100 Centre St.
Mariano was arrested at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday for allegedly punching someone on the street during an altercation. He was never arraigned on those charges and was taken from the courthouse immediately after the incident.
The thug, who spewed expletives as cops tried to subdue him following the alleged cop assault, has 35 prior arrests, including marijuana possession and selling drugs.
Witnesses said Mariano was cuffed behind his back as well as at his ankles at the time when he landed on the cop.
Unable to move, the injured officer, 40, remained sprawled on the floor gripping his left leg and grunting in pain until EMTs finally arrived at about 2:14 p.m. The call came over at 2:09 p.m.
A woman at the scene, who claimed she called 911 at 1:52 p.m., complained about the long delay in getting an ambulance to the courthouse.
“He could’ve had a heart attack and died!” she could be heard saying.
Witnesses said Mariano was giving cops a hard time, growling at them to “Keep your f——g hands off me!” as they walked him to the ground-level courtroom for arraignment.
“They were assaulting me! I was defending myself,” he claimed as he was led out of the courthouse and into a waiting police van.
The cop’s injury comes just two days after The Post exclusively reported more than a dozen city court officers have suffered line-of-duty injuries in the past two months, due to 22 percent fewer officers in court than in 2010.
Patrick Cullen, head of the 1,200-member New York Supreme Court Officers Association, said, “We constantly try to be vigilant to make up for the losses but we can’t be everywhere because of the shortages. Now members of other law enforcement agencies are getting hurt at the courthouses.”