Cop Watch

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Police probe brutality allegations

YONKERS — Police are investigating allegations that two city men were victims of police brutality in unrelated incidents March 12.

In the most serious case, a 42-year-old man was in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center, his family said. In the other, a 31-year-old man who is the son of a city police officer said he was assaulted by two officers.

In the first case, the family of Wayne Belluomo said he is on a respirator and unconscious at the medical center.

"This is uncalled for," said Kathleen Augustus, 49, Belluomo's sister. "They had no business hitting him that way. They beat him unconscious."

In the other case, Terrence Craig Brown, a flagman for a contracting company, said he was assaulted by two officers.

"After that night I lost my respect for the police. I feel bad about that because my father is on the job," he said, referring to Woodrow Brown, a city police officer.

Brown said he parked a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina, which is registered to his father, at a bus stop at 52 Yonkers Ave. and got out. Two officers — identified in the police report as Peter Wasiczko and Robert Santobello — drove up to him in a marked cruiser and demanded to see his hands, he said. He told them his hands were in his pockets because it was snowing and cold, he said.

The officers threw him on the hood of the police cruiser, he said, and then he was thrown to the ground and forced to lie face down in the snow. Santobello kicked him in the left shoulder, he said. While handcuffed on the ground, Brown said, Wasiczko struck him in the head with a nightstick.