Queens, NY – A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent allegedly brawled with a New York Police Department (NYPD) traffic enforcement agent last week after the traffic agent issued him a summons for parking illegally.
The incident occurred near 46th Street and Greenpoint Avenue in Sunnyside at approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 19, 33-year-old NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent Dipankar Dipu told the New York Daily News.
Law enforcement and traffic enforcement agents’ union sources said Dipu spotted a black 2015 Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows parked illegally as he was making his rounds, according to the new outlet.
“The Jeep was about 30% in the bus stop area and about 70% in a meter zone,” Dipu told the New York Daily News. “There was another car completely in the bus stop and I went to that car and the told the motorist to move, which he did.”
The traffic enforcement agent said he then approached the Jeep, having no idea there was an FBI agent inside who was in the middle of a stakeout.
“I was trying to look through the window to see if there was anybody in the car, but I couldn’t see anything,” Dipu recalled.
He noticed the Jeep did not have a meter receipt, so he generated a citation, the New York Daily News reported.
Dipu said he was placing the ticket on the windshield of the vehicle when he heard someone moving around inside.
The occupant then slapped an FBI placard up on the dashboard, the New York Daily News reported.
Dipu said he had no idea the vehicle was involved in an FBI stakeout, and said he wouldn’t have generated the citation if he realized what was going on.
But once the summons is written, there is no way for a traffic enforcement agent to void it, he told the New York Daily News.
According to law enforcement sources, FBI Agent Kenneth Diu came barreling out of the Jeep and confronted Dipu, demanding he cancel the citation.
“He was very arrogant,” Dipu told the New York Daily News. “He became angry with me, yelling at me to ‘Void the ticket! Void the ticket! You have to void the ticket!’”
When he explained he didn’t have the power or technology to do so, Agent Diu allegedly told him he was placing him under arrest.
“He tried to snatch my machine from my hand, but I resisted him,” Dipu told the New York Daily News. “But the second time he snatched it from my hand forcefully and I could not protect it. He took it, went into the car and locked the door.”
The traffic enforcement agent called for a supervisor as Agent Diu managed to void the citation using the ticketing machine, Dipu said.
He noted that a void slip printed from the device on his belt just before Agent Diu exited the Jeep again and allegedly threw him against the SUV, the New York Daily News reported.
“He just pushed me forcefully on the bonnet of his car and put both of my hands behind my back forcefully,” Dipu told the news outlet.
Agent Diu had one handcuff on Dipu when police and the traffic enforcement agent’s supervisor arrived at the scene, he said.
“It was just so humiliating,” Dipu told the New York Daily News. “People were looking all around and I could hear people talking about me. I felt so down at the time.”
Dipu said his shoulder was still sore four days after the encounter due to the scuffle.
All involved parties met up at the NYPD 108th Precinct after the physical altercation.
Agent Diu was required to pay the parking ticket, but was not immediately charged in connection with the alleged assault, the New York Daily News.
The NYPD said on Saturday that an investigation into the confrontation remained ongoing, according to the news outlet.
Local 1182 President Olufemi Sokunbi said he found it “disgusting” that a member of the FBI would embarrass a uniformed traffic enforcement agent.
“The FBI is supposed to be protecting everybody,” Sokunbi told the New York Daily News. “Thank God for the NYPD police officers that showed up and were able to deescalate the situation…Nobody is above the law.”
“This cannot be happening to my members,” the union president added. “We get assaulted for doing our job for the city every day and nobody cares.”