New York Daily News

August 22, 2003

Disabled cop wins $3.4M in suit vs. perp


Since getting body-slammed by an angry perp nine years ago, NYPD Officer Liza Paredes has endured four knee operations, a bulging disk and numerous internal problems.

She cannot sleep and has little time for anything other than work - where she is on light duty - and therapy.

But this week, she had the satisfaction of winning a $3.4 million verdict against the ex-con who caused her agony.

Paredes, who underwent her most recent knee operation yesterday, does not know whether she'll see a dime of the award, but she said that's not the point.

"This has to be a deterrent," she told the Daily News. "I'm sure there are probably other officers in my situation. Some may not even know that [suing] is an option."

The 38-year-old cop's troubles began on April 11, 1994, when a Glendale woman who was eight months pregnant called police to her first-floor apartment because her husband - Brian Frisbie - was threatening her.

"I decided to walk her up to the second floor," Paredes said. "But [Frisbie] ran past my partner and started punching me."

"He body-slammed me and he landed on top of me," she said. "I lost my breath, hit my head and started fighting again."

By the time it was over, Paredes was in the hospital with torn cartilage, a torn patella, a large black-and-blue mark on her back and other injuries.

Given probation

Frisbie was convicted of assault and resisting arrest and in 1995 was sentenced to five years' probation. Paredes did not think that was penalty enough and filed the suit in 1999.

The award, decided Tuesday by Queens Supreme Court Justice Alan LeVine, allocates $900,000 for past pain and suffering and $2.5 million for future pain and suffering.

Frisbie, a Queens carpenter, did not attend the civil trial and said yesterday that he had not heard about the judgment against him.

"What, are you kidding me? I didn't even know about it," he said. "My rights have been violated. This will be appealed."

Paredes' lawyer, Gregory Longworth, who was retained by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said he did not know how much money Frisbie has, but he called the lawsuit worthwhile.

"There should be more of these," he said. "The general public does it all the time. Why not cops?"

Paredes agreed, even though she had to wait for years for the case to wend its way through the system.

"We're not out there to be punching bags," she said. "I would do it all over again to protect myself."