Miguel Feliz says he still has nightmares about the moment when Jersey City police officers delivered kicks, instead of first aid, when he needed it the most — while he was on fire.
“They just started kicking me, and kicking me. They broke four of my ribs. Kicked me here,” Feliz said.
Cell phone video from the June 4th incident shows the aftermath of the officers’ chase after a suspect Leo Pinkston through the streets of Jersey City.
That chase ended when Pinkston crashed his vehicle along Rt. 1 & 9, and slammed into Feliz’ sedan, which then burst into flames, with Miguel trapped in the driver’s seat.
“I couldn’t get out,” Feliz said. “From there, and my seatbelt didn’t want to come off. I was already on fire.”
The officers also fired shots at Pinkston, the suspect, as he ran away.
That’s when the officers spotted Miguel who managed to escape from his burning car.
They apparently mistook the 28-year-old grocery delivery driver for their suspect – Pinkston.
“Finally, I see the cops. And I’m thinking – the guy’s gonna help. I’m on fire,” Feliz said. “And I just see them with the guns drawn, and I hear the in the voice – they were so like, mad.”
Feliz’ lawyer says the officers were in the wrong on several counts, beginning with a wild street chase, firing their weapons, and ending with them offering Feliz what appears to be violence – instead of help.
“It’s outrageous conduct, and we’re going to address that in the lawsuit,” said attorney Tom Cammarata.
Four of the Jersey City police officers have been indicted in this case.
Officers Eric Kosinski and MD Khan appeared in court Friday.
“He fired at this man to try to prevent someone innocent person from being killed, which Mr. Pinkston almost accomplished anyway. Mr. Kosinski should have been commended – not indicted,” said Officer Kosinki’s attorney.
The president of one of Jersey City’s Police unions tells PIX11,
“We have a great deal of respect for the legal process that will let our officers have a chance to tell their story regarding the entirety of the incident. Once they do we believe they will be exonerated.”
Feliz ultimately spent more than a month in the hospital, recovering from burns suffered over 30 percent of his body.
The four officers face several charges ranging from aggravated assault to attempted murder. They are due back in court, in January. Meantime, Feliz – still recovering – has yet to go back to work.