Charges dismissed against Bobby Hayes in disorderly conduct case

Attorney William Petrillo says a video taken by someone at a Uniondale barbershop of the arrest of Bobby Hayes on Jan. 29 will clear his client, who claims he was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated. (Video provided by: William Petrillo)

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Nassau prosecutors Thursday dismissed resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges against a Garden City man whose lawyer claimed a video of the incident proved that the allegations were "fabricated."

Bobby Hayes spent nine days in jail after his Jan. 29 arrest near a Uniondale barbershop.

But in First District Court in Hempstead Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Steven Schwartz told Judge David Goodsell that prosecutors couldn't prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for District Attorney Kathleen Rice, said prosecutors dropped the charges "based on everything before us." He wouldn't say what role the video played.

In court, defense attorney William Petrillo said: "The charges against him are false. They are fabricated. They are made up . . . It's all fantasy."

Last week, Rice's office called for Hayes' release while investigating "discrepancies" between the video and police documents.

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The case sparked a Nassau police internal affairs probe. Citing the investigation, police spokesman Insp. Kenneth Lack declined comment yesterday.

Police Benevolent Association President James Carver said: "Our police officers maintain that prior to the video [Hayes] acted in a way that justified the charges."

Petrillo, of Rockville Centre, said the 54-second video, shot by someone from the barbershop, tells the true story. "Fortunately for Bobby Hayes, there was a video of this incident. Unfortunately for many others, there are no videos," Petrillo said.

Hayes, 34, a regular at the barbershop, said he was "just glad the truth came out."

"I was innocent from the start," said Hayes, whose wife sat with him in court.

Hayes, a father of two, said he works as a plumber and has had a small clothing line -- U Better Behave -- for a year.

Court records show he was convicted more than 10 times between 1997 and 2002 for offenses including criminal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to stints ranging from 90 days to 5 years.

Petrillo said the video shows Hayes allowing himself to be handcuffed. He said Hayes wouldn't give police his full name at first, which Petrillo believes caused the police to escalate the incident.

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Court documents say police were doing a drug investigation when they stopped Hayes, asking him for identification and "to explain his conduct."

The documents said Hayes began swearing and repeatedly refused to provide ID. The complaint alleges Hayes refused to stop his violent behavior, and used racial slurs and profanity before swinging his arms and pulling away from police.

The complaints list Peter J. Ellison and Carl Arena as the arresting officers.

With John Valenti and Bridget Murphy

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