Video: Falsely Arrested Man Confronts 61st Precinct Commander

The victim of February’s false arrest, in which an officer allegedly lied saying the man attempted to run him over with his car, confronted Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas, commander of the 61st Precinct, last week demanding to know if the precinct can be trusted in the future.

John Hockenjos took to the floor of the 61st Precinct Community Council to face the precinct’s commanding officer, expressing shock about the incident and stating that he fears relying on the city police in the future.

The erroneous charges, which were dropped by the district attorney, could have put Hockenjos in prison for seven years. His wife still faces 15 days, and charges against her have not yet been dropped.

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“I was facing, if convicted, seven years in prison, losing my livelihood, losing my property, losing everything I had, my finances and my freedom. Two officers planted themselves in my driveway. I could not even move my car,” a visibly distressed Hockenjos told Mastrokostas. “I want to know: is this a culture in the 6-1?”

Hockenjos added that the allegedly false charges weren’t the only thing that went wrong that evening. He said the police officers refused to tell him why he was being arrested until after he was held at the precinct. In previous instances in which they called police regarding their two-year feud with a neighbor over property, they said the officers refused to take a report, including in one case where his wife was assaulted.

The experience has caused him to distrust the local precinct, already dissuading him from calling 911 for vandalism and alleged gang activity on his property.

“I feel unprotected. I’m now afraid to call 911 … I’m afraid for my life,” Hockenjos said. “I can’t protect myself, commander. I can’t do it. All I can do is take pictures.”

On February 5, the 55-year-old East 23rd Street resident was arrested and charged with first and second degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving after police at the scene claimed he attempted to run them over with his car as they stood in his driveway.

The charges were dropped days later after Hockenjos revealed surveillance video suggesting the officer fabricated his report, which stated that Hockenjos drove into his driveway “at a high rate of speed,” which forced Officer Diego Palacios “to jump out of the way to avoid being hit” by the four-door sedan. The video showed Hockenjos slowly pulling into the driveway and stopping several feet before the police officers – who didn’t budge.

Diego Palacios and another officer are currently under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, have been relocated to a different precinct and are no longer on patrol, Sheepshead Bites is told.

Mastrokostas nor Hockenjos declined to discuss specifics of the case. Mastrokostas cannot comment on ongoing investigations, and Hockenjos has been advised by his lawyer to keep mum until the court matters are settled.

Still, Mastrokostas noted that he expects the most of his officers, and that Hockenjos and other members of the community shouldn’t hesitate to report crimes in the area.

“As far as the officers in the 6-1, I expect them to behave with the utmost professional attitude. We’re here to do a job – protect the community that we work in,” Mastrokostas said. “You shouldn’t feel hesitant about calling the police department. If the police respond and you feel they’ve acted inappropriately or did something wrong, I encourage you to call [Civilian Complaint Review Board] or the Internal Affairs Unit. It’s as easy as calling 311.”

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  1. Law suit. i think 35million sounds fair.

    + Firing those two cops, or sending them to jail for False Accusations.

    and while your at it, sue your neighbor for being a Whiney little bitch who Also lied under Oath.

  2. I have seem the video and thank heavens there was one. Otherwise this man and his family would be facing prison time. Why any police officer would file a false report is just beyond my comprehension. And it has to give you food for thought how many people are in prison because they did not have a camera pointing their way.
    Most police officers are out there trying to do the right thing. There are a few bad apples in all walks of life.

  3. Those cops should face the same amount of time for that false arrest. Im thinking that all cops need to have recording devices attached to them at all times. If they have any interaction with people it should be recorded and available as evidence immediately. A cops word vs a civilians word shouldn’t be considered evidence. If this guy didn’t have a camera he would be fucked right now because some piece of shit with a badge said so. Every highway cop has a camera in the car and records conversations so should every street cop. Its obvious that we cant trust the police.

  4.  it’s called being a Dirty Cop.  except this is one of those times the cop didn’t make anything off it.

    Unless……………….the neighbor bribed the cops. then it’s On Like Donkey Kong!

  5.  he deserves every penny heading his way.

    You would too if this would have happened to you.

  6. Ah, the good ole 61.  What wonderful, caring precinct.  What a great bunch of pathological liars – including Mastrokostas.  What a waste of  skin!

  7. Those cops were probably assigned a quiet area where they can try to pick up young chicks, like most of the 61 tries to do (seems like it’s a job requirement).  I would have plenty of video of this had I not been afraid they would see me and arrest me on some bogus charge.

  8. its amazing how the chief (or whoever he is) goes to great distance to avoid answering the question. a cop hides behind his shield, and because the onus is on the accused to prove innocence, they get away with it!!

  9. He’s not Serpico. The guy probably just wants to put in his time and retire. I don’t see him getting too involved in fixing police corruption, even if it goes on right under his nose. 

  10. That’s the problem with the great and powerful Deputy Inspector Mastrokostas.  All blow, no go.  I’m sure that you are right when you say he wants to put his time in and then get out.  Everything passes right by him.  He has no leadership quality.  Thought that he would make a difference – you know, young blood.  He does less than the former commander, Vincent Stella.  61 is a waste of our tax money.  Always has been, always will be.

  11. I have family members who worked for the 61.  One of them actually walked around on Manhattan for the entire summer, staring at the girls with thong bikinis up their asses – and loving it.  After the summer, he put in for transfer because he really did want to be a real cop. 

  12. Good luck in even trying to get thru to the waste of a police precinct that the 61st really is. I love it, call them and you get an answering machine or if you get a person to pick up, they just hang right up without saying anything. Then they want to know why they get no respect.  You have to give it to get it.

  13. This guy is a total tool. I once lived near him and I know he called the police on his neighbors who were doing construction on their house literally hundreds of times. I’ve seen the police talking with him sometimes twice a day because of various disputes about their construction. I sounds like the neighbors who he has been fuding with sided with the cops on their witness report. I don’t doubt the police were looking for a way to get this guy to shut up and stop calling as crazy as it sounds.

  14. Just like a civilian’s word against a cops word shouldn’t be considered evidence. Dont worry…they don’t trust you either. 

  15. Good thing Shawdowlock isn’t a judge he’d be awarding a cool million just for being issued a wrong parking ticket. A woman in Brooklyn who lost her arms and legs sued the hospital and she only got 18 million.

  16. Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 394 cities across the United States have entered the Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. How about approaching severe Corruption in NYC when Citizens forced out of their homes losing their life savings trying to protect their homes from Corrupted offi…cials of Department of Buildings who are not only permitting illigal constructions which is “taking over” lands that in deeds of adjoining owners to Developer who Department of Building considering their “favorit” helping him to gain others people land, make him big money by overlooking illigal construction, even contact Court on his behalf to help grant him land of adjoing owners with his demand o n the Supreme Court to restarain forever adjoining owners from their own unencumbered property for Developer enjoiment, use and occupancy their land! Department of Building Inspectors, Supervisers are running around suggesting to homeowners that their property will be granted by Court to the Developer and Department of Building will give violation to homeowners for using their own land! If it would not be so tragic and would not be destroying peoples lifes living them on the Street,forcing them from their home that they paid for 15-30 years morgtages,property tax, maintained and developed-it would be even fanny how this kind of things can be permitted, promoted and happening in reality!(?!) Maybe it should be some competition of how to Challange and solve such beyond believe corruption of Department of Buildings in New York City?! That would be tremendously improving life in New York City and maybe could be even inspire other American cities to solve their Corruption problems! Do we deserve basic Human Rights?

  17. Any ‘official’ with knowledge should be sued under 42 USC Sec. 1983 in their personal capacity. That is the fastest way to disinfect and innoculate against any bad actors.

  18. Funny how the Inspector said he couldn’t go into any details about the false arrest case, then immediately started bashing him on his case with his neighbor.

  19. hopefully the NYPD and District Attornys office are investigating every arrest this dirty cop has made and removing criminal records from all of the people who were framed by Him and his corrupt buddies ..

  20. Dam these NYPD pigs make me so sick, if that happens to me i would sue the city good. NYPD are and always will be crooked.

  21. HOCKENJOS FAMILY IS NOW IN THE HANGING TREE – “Hanging Tree” – Realtime Story of Hockenjos who they say murdered three – Government and Judicial Corruption driven by criminal influence has become the Hockenjos “Hanging Tree” an acknowledgment of what humans do to oppress, control, exploit each other and the atrocities (“strange things”, like innocents being hanged) that result when people fight against this oppression for their freedom.

    Characters familiar with the song use it as a reminder in the book to prioritize freedom for all over things such as surrender/enslavement, suicide, or revenge.

  22. deputy inspector got his job with the help of fr eugene i wonder who fr eugene knew what crooked politicians

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