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Former Playmate sues NYPD for 'manhandling' her

New York , Sun, 12 Feb 2012 ANI

New York, Feb 10 (ANI): A former Playboy Playmate is suing the New York Police Department after two cops allegedly manhandled her following an altercation with a cab driver in 2006.


Stephanie Adams said that the cops drew their guns on her and shoved her face into the Ninth Avenue pavement after the taxi driver falsely claimed she had threatened to shoot him.


Once known as the first openly lesbian Playboy Playmate, and now a married-to-a-man mom, Adams is suing the policemen and the city for using excessive force in the 2006 run-in.


"We're very pleased she has her case before the jury," the New York Post quoted her lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein as saying.


"It's been a long time coming," Rubenstein said.


Adams, 40, was taking a cab back to her apartment on May 25, 2006, when the driver refused to take her closer to her building.


She said he started cursing at her, so she called 911, prompting cabby Eric Darko to do the same.


He falsely told the 911 operator that she had threatened to shoot him, so cops were on high alert.


Adams says plainclothes officers went up to her with their guns drawn and told her not to move.


She said that despite her following their directives, one cop shoved her face down and pinned her.


Adams' trial lawyer, Nina Neumunz, contended that it was unnecessary and that officers should have been able to tell she was unarmed because she was wearing a tight midriff-baring top and tight jeans.


Sgt John Rajan testified she didn't react when he told her to lie face down, so he had to make her.


"It was a controlled drop to the ground," he said, denying Adams' contention that he "mashed" her face.


"We didn't know if she had a firearm," he said.


But he admitted he didn't see a need to frisk her after the drop because "she was wearing tight-fitting clothing, and there was no place to conceal a weapon."


Adams' doctor, David Adin, testified that the incident injured spinal discs, causing her severe back pain.


Adams' suit also named the cabbie, who has defaulted in the case.


Darko lost his hack license soon after the incident - thanks in part to his contention to TLC investigators that he thought Adams was a vampire who'd bared her fangs at him.


On its part, the city maintains the officers followed proper police procedure. (ANI)


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