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Man Police Jailed in Goof to Get $530,000

By John Marzulli
Daily News Staff Writer

A highschool teacher who had a heart attack after a run-in with cops who mistook him for a hit-and-run driver has won a $530,000 settlement from the city, the Daily News has learned.

Lester Jacob, a science teacher at James Madison High School, had open heart surgery after the nightmarish confrontation with police on June 22, 2007, in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

"We hope this resolution will give NYPD officers reason to think twice before they get rough with citizens, particularly law-abiding high school teachers like Mr. Jacob," said lawyer John Lambros.

Jacob, 52, claims cops yanked him out of his car, cursed at him, slammed his head against the vehicle and kneed him in the back while handcuffing him.

They thought his car matched the description of a vehicle that hit a child and left the scene -until a witness said he wasn't the right guy.

When Jacob began experiencing chest pains and coughing uncontrollably, a female cop snapped, "Nice acting," according to the suit the teacher filed.

Jacob struggled to drive home, stopping to vomit on the side of the road, and his wife rushed him to the hospital where doctors determined he had a heart attack.

"We feel that the settlement is in the best interest of all parties and we hope that this resolution allows Mr. Jacob to move forward," said Muriel Goode-Trufant of the city Law Department.

Lambros said the Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated a charge of excessive force against Officer Richard Lavelle of the 73rd Precinct.

It's unclear whether Lavelle was disciplined. A police spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Lavelle and his partner, Graham Emburey, denied the allegations, according to a CCRB report.

A sergeant at the scene of Jacob's arrest told the CCRB he "did not really" have any recollection of the incident.

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