A Lindenhurst man’s death, after being arrested on May 6, 2011, has been revealed as a preventable homicide. A State Report by the Commission of Corrections blasts Suffolk County Police, homicide detectives, district attorney Tom Spota, and the Suffolk County medical examiner. The incident took place two years ago when Daniel McDonell violated an order of protection which landed him in a holding cell at the first precinct in West Babylon right off route 109.
After being arrested by Suffolk County Police for violating the restraining order against his neighbor, McDonell was pronounced dead a day later and the State Report says law enforcement did very little in investigating McDonell’s death. The report states McDonell died of “Compressive Asphyxia during restraint by Suffolk County Police.”
His wife’s lawyer states McDonell was placed in a small holding cell at the first precinct in West Babylon and started asking for his medication because he was bi-polar. Once the officers refused, McDonell started yelling at the first precinct's policemen. That’s when numerous officers pounced on McDonell. They beat, tackled, and tasered him several times.
Police say they used the taser to subdue McDonell because, according to them, he had been “acting irrationally.“ The weapon which is supposed to be used to put down people quietly was one of the reasons McDonell was killed that day. After the tasering by Suffolk County Police officers, McDonell went into respiratory distress and was presumed dead at the hospital.
McDonnell’s attorney, Stephen Civardi said in an interview with News 12, “He ultimately stopped breathing from people piling on him and administering unnecessary and unjustified physical force.” District Attorney Tom Spota calls the report “baseless and inaccurate.” McDonell's wife disagrees and she’s filed a $50 million lawsuit due to the officer’s attack on her husband.
Update, : In a statement released by District Attorney Spota, the state report was inaccurate in stating that the D.A.'s office didn't look in to Daniel McDonell's death. "This criticism was leveled with no notice, no interview of prosecutors or a review of office investigative documents." D.A. Spota said in a letter to the New York State Commission of Correction. "Incredibly, we were also given no chance to respond to these baseless and inaccurate findings before they were made public."