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Tyrone Houston A/K/A/ Tyrone Black v. the City of New York

March 27, 2013

TYRONE HOUSTON A/K/A/ TYRONE BLACK
PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MUNICIPAL AGENCY FOR THE STATE OF NEW YORK; M. TOUSSAINT, SHIELD # 30127, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS POLICE OFFICER FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK; STEVE ALCARAZ, TRANSIT KINGS TASK FORCE; SEARGENT RICHARD BREA, TAX # 903476, TRANSIT KINGS TASK FORCE; DETECTIVE ROBERT FUNES, SHIELD # 2392, BROOKLYN TRANSIT ROBBERY SQUAD DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dearie, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

Pro se plaintiff Tyrone Houston brings this action against various city defendants alleging violations of his federal and state constitutional rights and state tort claims stemming from his arrests in January and April of 2006 and the ensuing prosecutions. The gravamen of plaintiff's claims is that New York police officers and detectives arrested him without probable cause, conspired to falsely charge and convict him, and retaliated against him for a previous lawsuit against New York City Police Department officers. However, these claims are belied by plaintiff's guilty pleas to disorderly conduct and grand larceny.

Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

A.The January 2006 Arrest and Plea

On January 27, 2006 at approximately 7 P.M., plaintiff was arrested by Police Officer Toussaint ("Toussaint") and his partner. ECF Docket # 11, Plaintiff's [Second] Amended Complaint ("Compl."), at 3.*fn1 Plaintiff alleges that the arrest was made "without probable cause" and suggests that it was a pretext for a robbery investigation by Toussaint and Detective Robert Funes ("Funes") of the Brooklyn Transit Robbery Squad. According to plaintiff, Toussaint told him that he fit the description of a black male who was wanted in connection with numerous subway robberies, and then Toussaint and Funes took pictures of him to show robbery victims. Compl. at 3-4.

Plaintiff claims that when the victims did not identify him as the perpetrator, Funes instructed Toussaint to charge plaintiff with various crimes in retaliation for past lawsuits he had brought against N.Y.P.D. officers. Compl. at 4. Plaintiff was then transferred to Brooklyn Central Booking, where he claims he received no medical treatment, shower, hot food, or sleep for approximately two days, "despite noted medical conditions," including "lacomo [sic], high blood pressure and water in the knees." Id. He met with a Legal Aid attorney at 10:40 a.m. on January 29, 2006, and was arraigned within the hour. Compl. at 5.

According to official records, plaintiff was arrested after officers observed him urinating on a subway platform. ECF Docket # 112, Exhibit C, 2006 Arrest Report. Plaintiff does not directly dispute this sequence of events; he merely states he was arrested "without probable cause." Compl. at 3.The arresting officers recovered two knives from his person, one from the right jacket pocket and the other from an inside pocket. ECF Docket # 112, Exhibit C, 2006 Arrest Report. The next day, he was charged with two violations of New York City Administrative Code 10-133(G), Possession of Knives or Instruments in Excess of Four Inches, and one violation of New York City Health Code 153.09, Urinating in Public. ECF Docket # 112, Exhibit D, Criminal Court Complaint dated January 28, 2006.

On February 2, 2006, plaintiff pled guilty to one count of Disorderly Conduct, N.Y.P.L. § 240.20, in satisfaction of the charge, and was sentenced to time served. ECF Docket # 112, Exhibit E, Certificate of Disposition.

B.The April 2006 Arrest and Plea

On March 9, 2006, the District Attorney served plaintiff with an Order to Compel him to stand in two more lineups related to robberies that took place on January 14 and January 16, 2006. ECF Docket # 11, Compl., Exhibit D, Order and Affirmation in Support of the People's Motion for a Lineup Order. He believes this is evidence that Funes and the Brooklyn Transit Robbery Squad were involved in a conspiracy to detain him on false charges. Compl. at 5-6. Plaintiff argues that on March 16, 2006, Funes falsely arrested and charged him with the January 14, 2006 robbery, despite the fact that the robbery victims failed to identify him in the line-up. Compl. at 6. Plaintiff also alleges that in a court proceeding on April 11, 2006, "two new Black victims" informed the court that he was not the robber, and that defendants told them to pick him out of the line-up anyway. Compl. at 7.

According to official records, plaintiff was arrested on April 5, 2006 in connection with the January 14, 2006 robbery. The arrest was made pursuant to Kings County Grand Jury Indictment 2006-02546, charging him with one count of N.Y.P.L. § 160.15, Robbery in the 1st Degree, and one count of N.Y.P.L. § 265.02, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 3rd Degree.

ECF Docket # 112, Exhibit G, April 5, 2006 Arrest Report.

On January 23, 2012, plaintiff pled guilty to one count of N.Y.P.L. § 155.30, Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree, in full satisfaction of Indictment 2006-02546. ECF Docket # 112, Exhibit H, Certificate of Disposition, Case No. 2006-02546. Plaintiff sought to withdraw his guilty plea when he was informed that "as a third time violent felon, he would be subject to consecutive sentences by operation of law" pursuant to New York Penal Law § 70.25 (2-a). ECF Docket # 116, Letter to Judge Dearie, at 1; see also ECF Docket # 107, Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law at 3. Plaintiff filed an application seeking to withdraw his guilty plea on July 2, 2012, and the motion was denied. ECF Docket # 109, ...


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