Erica Noonan, a 31-year-old Bronx woman, has filed a $150 million lawsuit against New York City and one New York cop, alleging that the cop last year pulled her over and falsely arrested her for drunk driving only because he found her attractive and wanted a date with her — and the situation got a lot worse from there.
After a long campaign of harassment including over 600 text messages, Noonan says that she finally agreed to meet with the arresting officer, Carlos Becker, when he offered to personally talk to the district attorney to help her with the DWI charge that stemmed from her March 11, 2013 arrest by Becker, 36.
At that meeting, Noonan says that the last thing she remembers is feeling groggy after he gave her a drink at their March 24, 2013, meeting. Her next memory, she says in the suit, is of waking up in Becker’s home feeling a sharp pain in her left eye. When she checked her eye, she saw that it was badly swollen up and a blackish purple color.
When she asked Becker what happened, he told her that she “fell.”
Becker then drove Noonan home, and she called the police as soon as he left. But she found the New York cops “less than helpful.” So she took herself to a nearby hospital for a full examination.
What she discovered at the hospital was even worse, according to the lawsuit. Doctors examining her found other injuries that indicated she had been raped.
The alleged rape and black eye may have been the worst of what Noonan’s suit says transpired between Becker and her. But they weren’t all of it. Becker also “made ‘lewd’ comments about Noonan’s body and ‘forcibly’ touched her breasts,” according to one of her attorneys, civil rights lawyer Eric Sanders.
Officer Becker also took a cell phone video of her body while she was handcuffed at the police station, zooming in on her buttocks. Becker was later charged with a misdemeanor crime in connection with the cell phone video recording.
But last December, a judge ruled that while the unauthorized video was “not only insulting, demeaning and disrespectful to Noonan, but also wholly unworthy of a New York City police officer,” it was not a crime, and the charge against Becker was dismissed.
“Police officers are entrusted with the solemn duty to protect and serve the public,” said another attorney for Noonan, Stephen Drummond. “Here Officer Becker abused that trust by placing his personal desire about his oath, and for that he and the NYPD must be held accountable.”
Other than the since-dismissed misdemeanor, no criminal charges have been filed against Becker in connection with the case. Noonan says that she wants New York City to review previous arrests by Becker, to determine if the officer has committed similar actions against other women.
The city says it is reviewing the Erica Noonan lawsuit.