New York 1 News

November 18, 2003

Civil Case Begins In Suit Filed By Police Officer Shot In 1999

Rally at Ground Zero      

The union representing city police officers is working to win millions for an officer wounded in the line of duty in Queens in 1999.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association last year filed a $2.5 million civil lawsuit on behalf of Officer David Gonzalez, who was shot inside a South Jamaica, Queens, apartment in November 1999, allegedly during a scuffle with William Hodges.

Hodges walked free in December 2002 after a judge dismissed attempted murder charges against him, ruling prosecutors missed the deadline for bringing him to trial.

The PBA later filed suit against Hodges, and court proceedings in the case began Tuesday.

“I just really appreciated the chance to finally tell my story in front of a courtroom, and although this guy who shot me is still walking the streets, it felt good to tell my side of the story," said Gonzalez.

“The mutt that gunned down this police officer did not have the courage to sit in this court and have the victim tell the story and listen. He did not have the courage to face the police officer that he tried to kill," said PBA President Pat Lynch.

While Gonzalez is back on the job at the NYPD, he says he still suffers from pain

Hodges has long maintained he was beaten by police officers, and that the gun went off during a struggle.

The judge in the civil case is expected to rule next month.