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Man Shot In Eye By Off-Duty NYPD Cop Sues For $35M

Man Shot In Eye By Off-Duty NYPD Cop Sues For $35M

The incident unfolded after 27-year-old Rinaldo Laviolette picked up the wrong wallet at a house party

A US man is suing an NYPD police officer for $35 million (£28.75m) after he shot him in the eye while off-duty.

Rinaldo Laviolette, 27, said he has suffered 'disfiguring' injuries from the incident, which unfolded on 5 March after he tried to enter the cop's home while drunk.

According to the New York Post, the restaurant supervisor had been at a party in the city when he accidentally picked up the wrong wallet while leaving.

The lawsuit, filed at the Manhattan Federal Court, states that when he realised the mistake, Laviolette headed back to the party.

Rinaldo Laviolette was shot in the eye by an off-duty NYPD police officer.

However, he ended up trying to get into the home of NYPD detective Douglas DeOtto, 42, mistaking it for the party house.

Despite Laviolette saying that he 'posed no threat to anyone' and 'had made an obvious mistake', DeOtto opened fire and shot him in the right eye.

The young man's attorney has since said that his client now has a titanium plate in his head and has had to get two surgeries as a result of the shooting.

Lawyer Daniel Solinsky told The Post: “The bullet basically demolished and disfigured the entire side of his face."

Court documents add that he lost an eye and suffered brain damage, his skull was 'shattered' and his 'psyche permanently scarred'.

They go on to state that the detective 'knew or should have known that there was no reasonable basis for the use of such force'.

But James Moschella - a Detectives Endowment Association attorney who is representing DeOtto in the shooting investigation - has spoken in defence of his client.

He said: "How the heck was Detective DeOtto to figure that out in the wee hours of the morning, when this person’s at his door?"

Moschella, who is not representing DeOtto in the lawsuit, claimed that Laviolette was 'not only banging on his door but doing everything he can to break into the house'.

He said that the man had been banging on the door 'for several minutes, at least five minutes, and when that didn’t work he began trying to get into the door holding the handle, exerting force'.

The police officer is being sued for $35m.

Moschella went on to describe DeOtto's reaction as 'more than reasonable', adding that he 'could only assume the worst at that time with a wife and two small children upstairs'.

"This individual has no one to blame but himself for his actions that night," he said.

The detective hasn't been charged by Suffolk County police. Meanwhile, Laviolette has been out of work and is facing significant medical bills.

He's now seeking $25 million in damages and $10 million in punitive damages.

UNILAD has contacted the NYPD for comment.

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Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe/Alamy

Topics: Crime, US News