Metropolis Should Pay Man $2.4M Settlement For Wrongful Stabbing Arrest

A JURY awarded $2.four million Thursday to a Bronx man who was arrested for a stabbing he didn’t commit in an obvious case of a mistaken hoodie.

Tokunbo Onilude, 32, was strolling to his Eastchester house when two cops stopped him and took him to the NYPD’s 49th Precinct stationhouse for questioning on Sept. 16, 2008.

9 days earlier, Diaby Bafode, a livery cab driver, crashed right into a parked automobile after he was repeatedly stabbed throughout a theft.

The crash occurred down the block from Burke and Hering Aves., the place Onilude lived along with his mom and brother.

Detective Jorge Chico mentioned witness Andrea Lounds instructed him she heard the crash and noticed two black males working away as she sat on her porch.

Greater than every week later, Lounds hailed two cops of their patrol automobile as they drove by the realm. She instructed the officers two black males in hoodies, who she beforehand noticed working from the crime scene, had been on Hering Ave.

The officers drove down the block, noticed Onilude in a hoodie strolling in the other way, and took him into custody. However they later testified they by no means introduced Onilude again to Lounds to verify if he was the individual she had seen.

Throughout questioning within the precinct, Onilude mentioned he was along with his girlfriend the day of the stabbing. He acknowledged being on the scene after the motive force was attacked — however he strenuously denied being concerned within the crime. The questioning lasted 18 hours in a small room, the place Onilude was cuffed to a vent.

Chico later instructed Onilude the sufferer recognized him from a photograph lineup displayed at his hospital bedside. However in court docket, Onilude’s legal professionals argued the detective by no means obtained that identification, noting there was no written document of it. Actually, there are not any pages left in Chico’s memo e-book after Onilude’s arrest.

Onilude was held on Rikers Island for 15 days and spent all of his free time within the legislation library desperately researching his choices. He was launched after the case was not instantly introduced earlier than a grand jury however spent the subsequent seven months going through tried homicide expenses with a 25-year jail sentence if convicted.

The case was lastly dropped in 2009. Onilude subsequently sued the NYPD, arguing cops by no means had possible trigger to arrest him and noting there was no fingerprint match or witness identification.

A yr later, he moved along with his spouse and younger son to Savannah, Ga., the place he obtained work as a college custodian. He left New York largely as a result of it was troublesome to take care of the stares within the neighborhood from individuals who knew he was arrested and charged with such a critical crime, his associates say.

Onilude’s lawyer, Glenn Miller, hailed the decision, reached after 2½ days of deliberation.

“The jury unanimously accepted our declare that Detective Chico had no foundation to cost Mr. Onilude with any crime,” he mentioned in an announcement. “Hopefully, the jury’s verdict will ship a message to the NYPD that false expenses are unacceptable.”

Bafode flew house to West Africa, the place his brother mentioned he died inside a yr due of problems from the assault

The NYPD closed the investigation after Onilude was arrested. Nobody else has ever been apprehended.