NASSAU COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUING TRESPASS AND RESISTING ARREST AGAINST SERGIO ARGUETA, HISPANIC GANG CONSULTANT FOR NASSAU COUNTY
On Friday, August 8, 2008 at or about 11:30 a.m., following a three week trial, with a dozen witnesses, including four police officers from the Nassau County Police Department who testified for the prosecution and a defense expert witness that testified about police racial profiling, a jury of four men and two women acquitted Sergio Argueta in the Hempstead District Court, Part 4 before the Hon. Martin J. Massell after three hours of deliberation.
Mr. Argueta, was inducted into the Hempstead Village Wall of Fame in 2006 ,serves as the President of S.T.R.O.N.G. (Struggling to Reunite Our New Generation); principal of the V.I.P.(Violence Intervention Project of Nassau County); and is the recipient of the Turner Fellowship at Stony Brook University(Masters Degree).
On February 18, 2006, Mr. Argueta while eating in a restaurant, was falsely charged with Trespass and Resisting Arrest. Mr. Argueta pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintained his innocence to this day. Before this matter went to trial, the charges against Mr. Argueta were dismissed several times. Each time, the charges were reinstituted by the Nassau County District Attorney.
Mr. Argueta suffered from the wrongful actions of the Nassau County Police and appeared in Court and proclaimed his innocence each and every court appearance. On April 13, 2006, Mr. Argueta filed with the Nassau County Police Department and the Office of the Nassau County District Attorney a complaint against the above referenced police officers. On May 3, 2006, Mr. Argueta served a Notice of Claim against the County of Nassau and the Nassau County Police Department for the wrongful and malicious acts taken against him. Mr. Argueta had not filed a lawsuit against the County. Also, the District Attorneys knew that their case against Mr. Argueta was questionable and was dismissed on three occasions. Nevertheless, documents were released by the District Attorney’s Office which indicated that the District Attorney’s Office was refusing to dismiss the criminal charges against Mr. Argueta, only because Mr. Argueta was “suing the County.”
In an interview today, Mr. Argueta said, “I am relieved that this burden which has been over my head for two and a half years has been lifted. I am happy, not only for me, but for those who supported me throughout this ordeal. It is ashamed that even after a complaint was filed with the Nassau County Police to investigate the abuse which I suffered, that not a single police officer was interview by internal affairs even to this day. What kind of system is this that we have that gets a civilian complaint and never speaks to the witnesses. Something is terribly wrong.”
His attorneys were Frederick K. Brewington and Gregory Calliste, Jr. Mr. Brewington stated, “this is a wonderful victory for Mr. Argueta and all those who care about justice. We thank the jury for hearing this case and sending a message that Racial Profiling is not acceptable. It was also interesting that the jurors did not find the police at all credible and thought that they created a situation that could have been avoided. In the end, Mr. Argueta did nothing wrong and we have now show that the made up crime of “eating while Hispanic” is not acceptable. Mr. Argueta should never have been accused, never have been arrested and clearly should have never been prosecuted. Truth has ruled this day!”