A Westbury man who accused a Nassau police officer of beating him during a 2014 traffic stop was arrested early Tuesday and later charged with robbing two people of $400 at knifepoint during a drug deal in Great Neck Plaza, authorities said.
Kyle Howell, 22, of Circle Drive, who had cocaine and Xanax on him at the time of his arrest, according to Nassau police, was charged with first- and second-degree robbery, attempted first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, and drug and weapons charges stemming from the Monday night robbery, authorities said.
Howell pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon at his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead before Judge William Hohauser, who ordered him held on $76,000 bond.
After his arrest, Howell tried to dump a plastic bag of cocaine in the backseat of a Nassau police car as officers transported him to the Third Precinct in Williston Park, the records said.
Howell accused Nassau police Officer Vincent LoGiudice of excessive force during an April 2014 traffic stop captured on surveillance video. A judge acquitted LoGiudice in December of felony assault charges in the case.
Howell also has a pending federal lawsuit against LoGiudice, his partner and the county, alleging civil rights violations stemming from the traffic stop.
“I’m being framed,” said Howell as officers led him to Nassau police headquarters in handcuffs. Nassau police spokesman Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, dismissed Howell’s allegations.
“With regard to anyone insinuating that the police department is framing him, it is completely absurd.”
At about 7:45 p.m. Monday, Howell met a woman, 19, and a man, 20, in a car on Pont Street to sell them drugs, according to police and court documents.
Howell got in the backseat of the victims’ 2004 Mazda sedan and put a knife to the man’s throat, demanding money, police said.
When the man tried to push him away, Howell cut both of the victim’s hands with a silver knife, police said.
The woman turned over $400 in cash and Howell fled, according to police and court documents. The man knows Howell, police said, adding that he was treated at a hospital for minor lacerations on both hands.
At about 4 a.m. Tuesday, officers from the Bureau of Special Operations spotted Howell in the backseat of a 2015 black Honda sedan on Spinney Hill Drive in Manhasset, police said.
They stopped the vehicle and found Howell; the driver, Jamiel Hendricks, 31, of Manor Drive in Manhasset; and another passenger, Nancy Peterson, 26, of Sunset Drive in Flower Hill, in possession of Xanax, police said.
Howell had 17 Xanax pills and a pink-tinted Ziploc bag of cocaine and told the arresting officer of the drugs, “That’s not mine,” court documents said.
Howell, who said in court Tuesday that he works part-time making $13.50 an hour to support his son, was represented by a court-appointed attorney, who questioned the validity of the victims’ identification of Howell as the suspect.
Hohauser ordered Howell to stay away from the victims in the case. Both Hendricks and Peterson were released without bail on charges of possession of a controlled substance and declined to comment as they left the courthouse.
Howell has been arrested seven times prior, said Assistant District Attorney Alexander DePalo, who asked for $150,000 bond. Howell’s parents attended his arraignment, but declined to comment.
James Carver, president of the Police Benevolent Association, who vigorously defended LoGiudice against Howell’s allegations, said Tuesday: “It’s a shame that someone became the victim of his criminal behavior.”
With Gary Dymski