NEW YORK (AP) – Prosecutors are investigating allegations that five New York City police officers attacked a tattoo parlor worker and sodomized him with a walkie-talkie in a subway station.

Michael Mineo, 24, said the officers then wrote him a disorderly conduct ticket and abandoned him as he was writhing in pain.

The police department disputes the allegations and strongly denies the man was sodomized.

Hospital discharge papers reviewed by The Associated Press show that upon arrival at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center on Oct. 15, Mineo was diagnosed with “anal assault.”

But NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement, “His assertion that he was sodomized is not supported by independent civilian witnesses on the scene.”

The case is being investigated by the police department and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, but the department must wait until the district attorney’s office finishes before interviewing the officers.

The accusations brought back memories of the 1997 assault of Abner Louima, who was beaten and sodomized with a broomstick in a police precinct by officers in one of the most notorious cases of police brutality in NYPD history.

In the latest case, lawyers for the accuser came forward Thursday afternoon with the startling allegations, and a hospital confirmed that he was admitted on the day of the alleged attack and spent four days there.

The hospital discharge papers said Mineo arrived at the hospital complaining he had been assaulted by police with a foreign object. He left four days later, although he was hospitalized again Friday, his attorneys said. They would not disclose where he was hospitalized.

Lawyers say five police officers approached Mineo on Oct. 15 around 12:30 p.m. because they believed he was smoking marijuana near a subway stop in Brooklyn.

When the tattoo parlor employee entered the station, he claims officers jumped him from behind, handcuffed him and wrestled him to the ground, according to attorney Stephen Jackson.

Mineo told his lawyers that he felt a foot on his neck as the officers beat him, then yanked down his pants and sodomized him with the walkie-talkie. The lawyers say the officers took the bleeding Mineo into a police car, wrote him a disorderly conduct ticket and left him at the subway station.

“My God, this just sent chills throughout my body when I heard this,” Jackson said. “This is one of the most horrendous acts of police brutality.”

One of Mineo’s co-workers took him to the hospital, where he remained most of the week with internal injuries. His attorney says the hospital administrator contacted the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office because it appeared Mineo was the victim of a sexual assault.

Jackson said medical records corroborate Mineo’s story, but would not immediately provide copies of them. Mineo was not available to speak. Brookdale Hospital officials confirmed that he was admitted on Oct. 15 and discharged four days later.

Jackson said he and Mineo didn’t go public with the allegations right away because they wanted to give prosecutors time to investigate.

A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said many initial details about the incident cast doubt on Mineo’s claims.

For instance, the official said Mineo initially yelled at the scene that he had been shocked with a stun-gun by the officers, but none of the officers was carrying the weapon.

Mineo’s attorneys said Friday that several witnesses heard his screams and saw the attack and were talking to prosecutors.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office says it doesn’t comment on any open investigations. Mineo was scheduled to appear before a Brooklyn judge on Oct. 17 in connection with an unrelated assault case but missed the court date because he was still hospitalized, according to legal records. In that case, Mineo and four other men were accused of beating up two teenage boys at the tattoo parlor on April 18.


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