The victim of an alleged assault by a Nassau County police officer told prosecutors he did have marijuana in his car during the April incident, admitting he previously lied in public statements, court records show.
Kyle Howell, 20, of Westbury, had denied having drugs or fighting police when speaking to the media about the April 25 traffic stop that a store security camera caught on video.
Police had alleged in criminal complaints that Howell tried to eat a bag of marijuana and a violent struggle started as two officers tried to retrieve the evidence and arrest him.
Prosecutors later dropped all criminal charges against Howell, and a grand jury indicted Officer Vincent LoGiudice, 34, on three assault counts. The seven-year police force veteran has pleaded not guilty.
Howell's lawyers previously filed a claim of notice against the county and police, alleging he was the victim of false arrest and excessive police force. They've said he suffered a broken nose, fractures near both eyes and facial nerve damage in the incident, and Howell described the encounter in press interviews as an unprovoked beating.
But during a May 14 interview with prosecutors, Howell said he had marijuana and police saw it when he opened his glove box to get his car's registration, court records show.
He said he tried to spill the marijuana into the street, but "when I got hit, the bag flew out of my hands."
Howell said he was worried about having a small amount of marijuana because he was on probation, and he managed to get his hand outside a door before an officer kneed him in the face.
"During the press conference with my parents and minister present I said I was trying to stop my paycheck from blowing out of the window," he also said. "That was a lie. I was afraid of my parents finding out I was trying to destroy the marijuana."
Howell's attorney, Amy Marion of Garden City, said Friday that her client is a scared young adult who didn't want his mother and grandmother to hear reports on TV about him having marijuana.
"It's still our position that activity did not warrant being assaulted," she said.
LoGiudice's attorney, William Petrillo of Garden City, has subpoenaed from several media agencies "any and all full reel interviews" with Howell or his attorneys from certain days.
Multiple news agencies have provided published materials, and some reported outtakes no longer exist. Some, including Newsday, have said unpublished materials are protected by a shield law.