A Westbury man who has leveled brutality allegations against Nassau police, including an officer who was acquitted after a 2015 trial, faces new drug charges after a recent arrest.
Court records show Kyle Howell, 23, was arraigned Tuesday on two misdemeanor drug charges after a Nov. 18 arrest by Nassau police.
Howell, who has a federal lawsuit pending against the county and two officers, already is fighting a robbery and assault case in Nassau County Court after an April arrest.
An attorney for Howell, Kevin Kearon, said Wednesday that Howell pleaded not guilty at his court appearance in the new case. But the Garden City attorney also said his firm doesn’t represent Howell in that matter and therefore has no comment on the man’s Nov. 18 arrest.
Howell and his family couldn’t be reached Wednesday at their home phone number.
In the November arrest, police charged Howell with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and fifth-degree marijuana possession after approaching a vehicle in which he was a passenger about 11 p.m. on Brush Hollow Road in Westbury.
Nassau Police Officer Sean Correale said in a criminal complaint he saw Howell sitting in a passenger seat of a white Ford and smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle while approaching it.
The officer said he then saw a plastic bag with a leafy substance that looked like marijuana next to Howell’s left leg, and recovered the bag “during a lawful search of the vehicle.” Correale said in another criminal complaint he then also searched Howell and found a glass pipe in his front right pocket with what he believed to be concentrated cannabis inside it.
Howell also pleaded not guilty after his April arrest, when Nassau police charged him with robbing two people of $400 at knifepoint in Great Neck Plaza during a suspected drug deal. Howell previously told reporters he was “being framed” in that case, an allegation police denied. He is free on $76,000 bond in that case, which includes charges of weapon possession, drug possession and attempted robbery.
The Westbury man’s federal lawsuit against the county and police Officers Vincent LoGiudice and Basil Gomez is linked to an April 2014 traffic stop that a store surveillance camera captured on video.
Howell testified at LoGiudice’s 2015 felony assault trial that he didn’t resist police but was beaten and suffered facial fractures during the Westbury traffic stop.
But last December, a judge acquitted LoGiudice of assault charges, finding the force he used against the unarmed man was justified. Gomez wasn’t indicted in the case.