Father allegedly stopped at gunpoint for driving 'stolen car'

Man Arrested At Gun Point For Stealing His Own Car
Man Arrested At Gun Point For Stealing His Own Car

NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Clinton Pittman cannot forget the night of Dec.16, 2011. It's the night he asked, "What the hell is going on here?"

PIX11 reports: The Brooklyn native and MTA conductor was driving to his home in Queens when suddenly, at the intersection of Linden Boulevard and the Van Wyck service road in Queens, Pittman was stopped by undercover officers from Nassau County and uniformed cops from the NYPD.

In the last two weeks, Pittman filed a nine-page federal complaint against the city recalling the frightening events from that night.

On Monday afternoon, the 37-year-old spoke about the incident for the first time in a PIX 11 News exclusive.

"I look to my left, there is a gun pointed right at my face by another officer," he said. "I glance to my right, there is a officer at the passenger side of the car with a gun pointed at my son."

Unsure as to why he and his then 11-year-old son had guns pointed at them by police, Pittman had no time to ask questions because he was "forcibly pulled out of the car," as he described. Then he was placed, "across the hood of the car."

Several minutes went by, according to Pittman, before "one of the officers asked me, with his gun still pointed at me, 'What are you doing? Whose car is this?'"

Pittman said it was his.

The NYPD's response: "Well, why is this car on our stolen car list if you're telling me the truth?"

Pittman then said, "Well you tell me, and I actually asked the officer, would you like to see my license and registration? Because at no point up to now have I been asked for any form identification or for any proof of ownership for the car."

Pittman is now suing the NYPD for negligence because they failed to take his car off the list of stolen vehicles after he picked it up from them three months earlier.

Once the NYPD realized the error, Pittman said that they were in disbelief.

"They still didn't quite believe that this was possible," he said, "but again I had all the proof that I could possibly have, at this point I'm asking them, 'This is why you stopped me?'"

As for the city's response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson said that "the City will review the matter."

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