The Waterbury Police Department is facing a massive lawsuit from a man who said officers attacked him with stones and his injuries were bad enough to blind him.
Gabriel Gonzalez showed NBC Connecticut photos of his bloody and bruised face that he said were taken on Aug. 7, 2010 after a violent encounter with Waterbury Police.
“I’m suffering. I’m going through a lot every day,” Gonzalez said.
He was arrested that night in Newington after crashing and ran away. He said he got stuck in the mud and that’s when officers surrounded him and allegedly pelted him with stones.
“They were actually making fun of me, saying 'Ooh, that gotta hurt,'” he said.
He claimed no one tried to stop the attack, and that he was hit so hard, he’s now blind in one eye and had to get screws put into his face.
“They were all laughing at me when I got hit with that rock,” Gonzalez said.
He has filed a lawsuit for $8 million over the incident and claimed he also had a punctured lung and a broken rib.
According to the lawsuit, doctors who treated him at the emergency room said his injuries were consistent with getting beaten or hit with rocks.
“I don't want this to happen to anybody else. I don't want them to go through what I’m going through,” Gonzalez said.
Waterbury Police told NBC Connecticut that the problems started when a passenger in Gonzalez’ car tried picking up a prostitute during an undercover sting near Grover and First.
When they pulled him over, Gonzalez sped off and hit the interstate. That’s when he allegedly slammed into a police cruiser and hurt two officers, but investigators said Gonzalez kept going and led them on a high-speed chase for 30 miles, until he crashed in Newington.
Gonzalez claimed he didn’t stop because he was afraid.
Documents showed Gonzalez was cleared of every charge in this case except for interfering with police. He said this lawsuit was his way of showing police went overboard.
“I think I could have been dead,” Gonzales said.
The city attorney told NBC Connecticut she was aware of the lawsuit, but it still hadn’t been served. She added it is something she will fully investigate.