Trial starts for doc who told cops ‘I’m the hero!’ to get out of ticket
A Bronx cancer surgeon who made headlines when she told a pair of NYPD cops that she was the real “hero” during a 2016 spat over a parking ticket and who brought a lawsuit over the incident is now making her case before a jury in Manhattan federal court.
Rachel Wellner pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for her conduct in the February 2016 incident at Eighth Avenue and 55th Street in which she clipped a cop, Niguel Vega, with her Volvo after Vega and another officer told her to move the vehicle because it was blocking a crosswalk.
“I’m a doctor,” she allegedly sniffed. “I have patients that are dying. I have to go.”
“I’m the hero, the cops are not. I don’t accept the summons,” Wellner allegedly told the officers.
But Wellner’s lawsuit paints a different picture — she alleges that she merely explained to the officers that she had been operating on patients all day and that she said she has “emergencies I have to get to” and the cops are the ones who put the word “hero” in her mouth.
“Do you think you are some kind of hero for being a doctor?” Vega said to Wellner, the doctor’s lawsuit alleges. After she tried to drive away from the scene and clipped Officer Vega’s leg, she was hauled away in handcuffs.
During opening arguments for Wellner’s lawsuit against the NYPD, Hannah Faddis, an attorney with the city’s Law Department, argued that Wellner wasn’t on her way to work at all and that she had illegally parked her car across a crosswalk and a bike lane so that she could run an errand.
“She was going home,” Faddis said. “She just didn’t want to be inconvenienced.”
Faddis also explained to the jury that, after Wellner was taken into custody, she asked to use her cell phone to call into her employer, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx — but that she instead dialed up a Post reporter. Wellner was later fired from Montefiore.
Source: Read Full Article