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The victim of February’s false arrest, in which an officer allegedly lied saying the man attempted to run him over with his car, confronted Deputy Inspector Georgios Mastrokostas, commander of the 61st Precinct, last week demanding to know if the precinct can be trusted in the future.

John Hockenjos took to the floor of the 61st Precinct Community Council to face the precinct’s commanding officer, expressing shock about the incident and stating that he fears relying on the city police in the future.

The erroneous charges, which were dropped by the district attorney, could have put Hockenjos in prison for seven years. His wife still faces 15 days, and charges against her have not yet been dropped.

“I was facing, if convicted, seven years in prison, losing my livelihood, losing my property, losing everything I had, my finances and my freedom. Two officers planted themselves in my driveway. I could not even move my car,” a visibly distressed Hockenjos told Mastrokostas. “I want to know: is this a culture in the 6-1?”

Hockenjos added that the allegedly false charges weren’t the only thing that went wrong that evening. He said the police officers refused to tell him why he was being arrested until after he was held at the precinct. In previous instances in which they called police regarding their two-year feud with a neighbor over property, they said the officers refused to take a report, including in one case where his wife was assaulted.

The experience has caused him to distrust the local precinct, already dissuading him from calling 911 for vandalism and alleged gang activity on his property.

“I feel unprotected. I’m now afraid to call 911 … I’m afraid for my life,” Hockenjos said. “I can’t protect myself, commander. I can’t do it. All I can do is take pictures.”

On February 5, the 55-year-old East 23rd Street resident was arrested and charged with first and second degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving after police at the scene claimed he attempted to run them over with his car as they stood in his driveway.

The charges were dropped days later after Hockenjos revealed surveillance video suggesting the officer fabricated his report, which stated that Hockenjos drove into his driveway “at a high rate of speed,” which forced Officer Diego Palacios “to jump out of the way to avoid being hit” by the four-door sedan. The video showed Hockenjos slowly pulling into the driveway and stopping several feet before the police officers – who didn’t budge.

Diego Palacios and another officer are currently under investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau, have been relocated to a different precinct and are no longer on patrol, Sheepshead Bites is told.

Mastrokostas nor Hockenjos declined to discuss specifics of the case. Mastrokostas cannot comment on ongoing investigations, and Hockenjos has been advised by his lawyer to keep mum until the court matters are settled.

Still, Mastrokostas noted that he expects the most of his officers, and that Hockenjos and other members of the community shouldn’t hesitate to report crimes in the area.

“As far as the officers in the 6-1, I expect them to behave with the utmost professional attitude. We’re here to do a job – protect the community that we work in,” Mastrokostas said. “You shouldn’t feel hesitant about calling the police department. If the police respond and you feel they’ve acted inappropriately or did something wrong, I encourage you to call [Civilian Complaint Review Board] or the Internal Affairs Unit. It’s as easy as calling 311.”

An example of the graffiti left near the Hockenjos' home.

A Sheepshead Bay man accused of attempting to run over a cop had the charges against him tossed last week, after surveillance video suggested the arresting officer may have fabricated the incident.

The Daily News reports:

Felony charges against John Hockenjos, 55, accused of driving at a “high rate of speed,” causing the officer “to jump out of the way,” were thrown out after a surveillance tape showed the Brooklyn man slowly pulling into his driveway and the cop not even flinching.

“I was very worried. These were very serious charges against me,” the MTA engineer said after his ordeal ended. “I was facing seven years in prison.”

Officer Diego Palacios made the allegation Feb. 5 after responding to a call by Hockenjos’s neighbor.

… “The people are moving to dismiss for lack of evidence and in the interest of justice,” prosecutor Danit Almog said in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday morning.

“There’s a larger issue here,” said Hockenjos’ lawyer Craig Newman. “You have a police officer who doesn’t have the right temperament or judgment to be wearing a badge who’s still out there.”

The NYPD has confirmed that the Internal Affairs Bureau is looking into the matter.

Meanwhile, the Hockenjos’ told Sheepshead Bites that they feel unsafe and unprotected, afraid to call police in the case of an incident. When a vandal left graffiti on their home in late February that they interpreted as threatening in light of their ongoing feud with a neighbor, they told us they could not rely on the police to provide help.

At least one officer from the 61st Precinct may be under investigation after surveillance video shed doubt on his arrest of a Sheepshead Bay resident for allegedly trying to run him over.

Three days after he was locked up, John Hockenjos, a 55-year-old East 23rd Street resident, was released on bail last week and his lawyer said his client was falsely arrested and has videotaped evidence of the altercation to prove it.

Hockenjos’ attorney, Craig Newman, told Sheepshead Bites that he had turned copies of the tape over to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, as well as the NYPD Internal Affairs unit.

While many Brooklynites were getting ready to watch the Super Bowl on February 5, Hockenjos, who is employed by the MTA, was arrested and charged with first and second degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving after police at the scene claimed he attempted to run them over with his car as they stood in his driveway.

The sworn criminal complaint states that Hockenjos drove into his driveway “at a high rate of speed,” which forced Officer Diego Palacios “to jump out of the way to avoid being hit” by the four-door sedan.

The problem is surveillance video from Hockenjos’ home suggests Hockenjos did no such thing.

The video shows Hockenjos slowly pulling into the driveway and stopping several feet away from the officers. Hockenjos and his wife get out of the car to talk to the police. The officer did not budge, as he had claimed.

In the full video, not shown above, Hockenjos begins to unpack his car when another police car shows up. Officers eventually handcuff Hockenjos, though no indication of aggression or reckless driving is seen on the tape.

“In my 20 years of legal experience, I’ve never seem more crystal clear evidence of a false arrest.” Newman told the Daily News.

The police were originally summoned by neighbor Argo Paumere, with whom the Hockenjos’ have had an ongoing property dispute. The police are seen talking with Paumere when the Hockenjoses arrived.

Hockenjos and his wife, Irena, 51, have lived in their house for 14 years, but trouble started two years ago when Argo Paumere moved next door. According to Newman, Hockenjos’ driveway includes a two-foot easement that has become an ongoing feud between the homeowners.

Newman said Paumere has wanted to build a larger house since he moved in and has repeatedly asked Hockenjos to give up the small section of driveway. Hockenjos has refused and the lawyer said it has resulted in numerous calls to the 61st Precinct and his client being “dragged into court numerous times,” stemming from several harassment complaints filed by Paumere.

“But each case has been dismissed,” Newman said, so the dispute persists.

Newman declined to allow Sheepshead Bites to interview the couple citing the “pending criminal matter.”

Hockenjos faces seven years in prison if the charges are not dismissed. Newman said the next court appearance is scheduled for August, but the District Attorney’s office could bring the case back to court sooner if they decide to dismiss it after analyzing the videotape.