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A local business owner held by Prince George's County police for 13 hours received $160,000 in a judgment against them.
A restaurant manager held for 13 hours by Prince George's County police received a $160,000 judgment against them.
Sabah Ali said he has a lot of respect and admiration for police officers, but what happened to him in October 2011 was over the line.
"I sat on the cold floor for 13 hours, no food, no nothing," said
Ali is a long-time employee of Three Brothers Pizza in Bladensburg, a restaurant friendly to cops in the area. But it was a bad experience with a Prince George's officer that has him set to receive the sizable settlement.
He said he was wrongfully arrested, and a jury agreed.
"I feel relief that justice has been served and the jury saw the whole thing, what happened," he said.
Surveillance video captured Ali's arrest in a 7-Eleven parking lot on Kenilworth Avenue in Bladensburg.
Ali said he pulled into the parking lot up to check on his restaurant DJ, who had been pulled over because his van had a headlight out.
That's where Officer Hong Park accused him of having drugs. "...[H]e said to me, 'Where's the drugs? Where's the drugs?'" Ali said.
Ali said he didn't have any drugs, and when he called 911 to tell the officer's sergeant, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to jail.
"It was a horrific thing... and all he was doing was pulling over to help me," said the restaurant DJ.
Ali's attorney Terrell Roberts said the surveillance video was key to their victory in court.
"You also can see from the tape that there's nobody out there," Roberts said. "This was at one o'clock in the morning; nobody's peace was disturbed. So there was no basis for the charges."
No drugs were found, and the charges against Ali were later dropped.
Officer Park and Prince George's County police fought the allegations.
Police said Thursday night they did conduct an internal affairs investigation and determined the allegations were unfounded. Park remains on active duty.
Ali said he plans to use the settlement to pay some bills and take his family on a vacation.