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Thursday, June 21, 2007

City settles with former Councilman over traffic altercation

Councilor Al Hendricks, 2002

The taxpayers are settling with former 4th Ward Councilor Albert Hendricks and his son, Christopher, over a traffic altercation that took place on Sunday, November 13, 2003, on Stanley Place, about a block from the Hendricks' West 6th Street residence.

Newspaper accounts at the time (I have archived them here) reported that Sgt. Michael Waldron stopped the 16-year old Christopher and told him it was illegal to operate the 'go-ped', or motorized scooter, in the street.

The elder Hendricks arrived and an altercation ensued, in which Councilor Hendricks was arrested, cuffed, sprayed with pepper spray, and taken to Police HQ where he was booked and released.

Police Chief Edward Santiago cited a Division of Motor Vehicles memo at the time, saying 'go-peds' do not meet the definition of a motorcycle under state law, and are therefore 'restricted to use on private property, providing the owner of the property consented to such use.'

Hendricks filed assault charges against Waldron and eventually the two cases were merged into one trial, which was held in the Westfield Municipal Court with Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba presiding. The trial began in July 2005, for which there is one news report, and was continued sporadically throughout the summer, though I have no further newspaper records.

By resolution R273-07 at Wednesday's meeting, the Council was prepared to settle all claims by the Hendricks father and son for $80,000.

Before Hendricks' trial began in 2005, his son Christopher pled guilty to 'obstructing the passage of motor vehicles' and paid a $50 fine.

And the moral of the story is?

-- Dan Damon

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Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me -- another example of lawbreakers turning the tables. Someone should check to see if Hendricks is currently paid up on his taxes; if not the city should withhold that amount from the payment.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it. I can see that things got a bit out of hand, but as an attorney, I don't see any merit to Hendricks' civil claim. If he were not a political figure, he would not have been offered a dime, and he shouldn't be given any tax dollars.

William H. Michelson, Esq.

Anonymous said...

Go Winky!! Go Winky !! aka
Mr. Al Hendricks. You go boy!!
Justice was served and Justice has prevailed. Smile and laugh all the way to Chase or Wachovia.
Let the critics be outraged. You
stood up for the Brothas, as the
Brothas stood up for you. Police
abuse of authority and brutality
is going to cease as these monetary judgements bankrupt the
partial, bias judiciary process.
Congrats!! Keep it Real!!
Let all the Brothas,
Black, White or Latino say,