Ramsey Orta, 22, and his family are claiming that the Staten Island police set him up.
(Demonstrators chant as they march on July 22 in New York City, demanding justice for Eric Garner. Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Update: Aug. 7, 2014, 2:00 p.m.
Chrissie Ortiz, the wife of Ramsey Orta, was arrested earlier this week for allegedly assaulting a woman in Staten Island, the Staten Island Advance reported. According to police, she has since been released and charged with misdemeanor assault. Ortiz, 30, and the woman had reportedly been arguing.
According to the police, plainclothes officers from a Staten Island narcotics unit saw Orta, 22, put an unloaded .25 caliber handgun into a 17-year-old girl’s waistband as they were leaving a hotel last Saturday night.
His arrest came one day after the New York City Medical Examiner’s office ruled Eric Garner’s death a homicide, resulting from an officer’s chokehold and excessive force during his arrest on July 17. NYPD officers alleged that the officers did not know who Orta was until he said, “You’re mad because I filmed your boy," during the arrest.
"When they searched me, they didn't find nothing on me. And the same cop that searched me, he told me clearly himself, that karma's a b***h, what goes around comes around," Orta told SILive, adding later, "I had nothing to do with this. I would be stupid to walk around with a gun after me being in the spotlight."
Orta appeared in court for his arraignment earlier this week after being released from a local hospital, where he was reportedly receiving treatment for a panic attack. Having pled not guilty, he is currently being held on $75,000 cash bail. The bail was partly determined by what a judge referred to as Orta’s “significant” record, which includes two felony convictions.
The teenager’s mother has also blamed Orta for putting her daughter in trouble, while Orta and his family claim that the girl had the weapon all along.
According to his family, the police have been following Orta around since the incriminating video surfaced.
"They wanted a reason to arrest him and apprehend him to keep him from continuing exposure to continue to show what, what horrible things that they've been doing to people," Chrissie Ortiz, his wife, told WABC.
Reverend Al Sharpton, who called Orta to speak at Garner’s funeral, has been calling for Staten Island prosecutors to turn the Garner case over to federal authorities.
"Now the Staten Island DA may be in a conflict, because he may be prosecuting someone who is a witness in the case," Sharpton told WABC.
Orta is scheduled to return to court on Friday.
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