2008-09-26 / Top Stories

Busted For Child Abuse,Weapon, Local Says It Ain't So

By Howard Schwach

Far Rockaway resident Deborah Farley says that she is a victim of police abuse, wrongfully busted for child abuse, criminal possession of a weapon, assault and disorderly conduct. She says that her kids were taken from her and that she remains in dread from her experience.

The man she calls her husband, Walter Orozco, whose address is listed in Hewlett, agrees with her - sort of. He says that he had gone to buy some ice cream for the kids from a Mister Softee truck and came back to find his wife on the ground, being cuffed by two cops, and his children screaming. According to Orozco, he went to the assistance of his kids, only to have the cops tase and handcuff him.

The cops say, however that Deborah beat her kids in public, threw an open bottle of vodka at police and open beer bottles at passing cars on Seagirt Avenue and then was found to have a large knife tucked into her belt.

They add that Orozco attempted to prevent the cops from arresting Farley, pushing them in the attempt. He has been charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.

Farley and Orozco sat down for a series of interviews with The Wave in recent weeks to tell their side of the story.

She says that she, her husband and their two kids, Katelyn and Tyler, went to the beach at Beach 9 Street on June 21, the first day of summer.

"We packed up like we were going to Bear Mountain," she said. "We had about 50 pounds of stuff in a shopping cart, stuff that we used during the day for swimming and fishing, including a knife to gut the fish."

They had spent the day on the beach and were going home to Cornaga Avenue when they saw the ice cream truck pass by and the kids asked for some.

Farley says she and Orozco had a slight difference of opinion, but not a fight. She says that the shopping cart tipped over, spilling out all of its contents onto the sidewalk and street.

Orozco, however, says that he pushed the cart to get it out of the way when he went for the ice cream, spilling the contents.

Farley said that it was about 6:30 p.m. when the cart tipped over, and that she was refilling the cart when a police car with two police officers pulled up.

She saw the cops talking to two men standing across the street and then the cops came over to her and accused her of beating her kids.

"They told me that they got a disturbance call and that I was accused of hitting my kids with my fist and then with a book," she said. "I told them that it was a bullshit call, that I didn't even have a book."

She says that they grabbed her arm and slammed her to the ground, handcuffing her in the process.

"My kids were crying and screaming," she said. "They told me I was being arrested for disorderly conduct." Just then, she continued, Orozco came back with the ice cream. He saw the kids crying and tried to get to them.

She said that one of the cops barred his way and said, "Fuck off, wetback asshole."

He admits that he bumped the cop while trying to get to his kids.

He states that one of the cops hit him with a taser in the back and then knocked him down and handcuffed him as well.

Orozco was transported to St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, where he was treated for burns on his back as a result of the taser shot.

Farley and Orozco admitted that they had been drinking on the beach, but claimed that the vodka bottles in question were already broken on the street when they got there and that she did not throw any bottles at anybody, including passing automobiles.

A blood-alcohol test given to Farley at the hospital reportedly showed that she had been drinking, but not to excess.

She says that the fishing knife that the cops claimed that she had in her waist was instead in the bucket in the shopping cart, along with all the other fishing paraphernalia.

Orozco says that he did not push the cop, but simply bumped him while trying to get his daughter out of her stroller to stop her from crying.

He said that he asked the officer for permission to get his kids, but that he was ignored and then cursed. He further states that he was surprised when he was hit with a terrible pain in his back and then he found himself on the sidewalk.

One of the cops hit him on the bridge of his nose with a baton, Orozco claims.

Both children were taken from the couple by Administration For Children's Services (ACS) workers and put in foster care, where they remain at press time.

A spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney, however, says that court documents filed by the cops tell a different story.

Police officer John Florio said in this deposition that two eyewitnesses told him and his partner that they had observed Farley strike both of the kids in the face, telling them to "keep quiet."

Farley then hit the kids in the face with a book, Florio was told by the eyewitnesses.

The officer said that Farley threw an open bottle of Absolute Vodka at him but missed, that the bottle shattered all over the street, and that she then took some open beer cans and threw them at passing cars.

Farley, he added, flailed her arms and refused to be arrested or handcuffed and that he found the knife not in the bucket, but in her waistband.

Orozco, he said, pushed him from behind while he was trying to arrest Farley.

Farley was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on June 23 on charges of assault, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a knife with a blade of more than four inches, disorderly conduct and harassment.

She says that she is still trying to get family court to return her kids to either her parents or another relative.

An NYPD spokesperson declined to comment on the case, saying that the criminal complaint speaks for itself.

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