UNIONDALE - The man at the center of the federal case involving former Suffolk Chief of Police James Burke says he is concerned for the safety of himself and his mother.
"Chief Burke is a very powerful man, he's got a lot of connections," Christopher Loeb said at a news conference Monday.
As News 12 has reported, Loeb was suspected of stealing a duffel bag out of Burke's car when Burke allegedly assaulted him and tried to cover it up. The ex-police chief was indicted on federal charges and ordered held without bail last week.
In his first public statements since those developments, Loeb said that he's relieved other officers came forward and testified against Burke, but he's not letting his guard down. "Right now, I don't feel comfortable in Suffolk County," he said.
Loeb was joined at the news conference by Kyle Howell, another Long Island man who claims to be the victim of police brutality. Howell had accused Nassau Police Officer Vincent LoGiudice of assaulting him during a traffic stop after he moved for the glove compartment. A state judge found LoGiudice not guilty on Friday.
"The police beat me and now it seems like they're going to get away with it," Howell said Monday.
Howell’s civil attorney Amy Marion said she feels the case against LoGiudice would have gone differently if it was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office instead of the Nassau District Attorney's Office. She is once again calling on federal prosecutors to get involved.
LoGiudice's attorney said it doesn't matter who prosecuted the case, because he says LoGiudice was justified in his use of force. "This is not a case that would ever warrant federal intervention," said attorney William Petrillo.
A spokesman for the Nassau DA's Office said in a statement, "Prosecutors presented the full breadth of the evidence and we accept the judge's verdict."
But Howell said he, too, remains fearful following his case. "I'm scared when I'm driving and the police are behind me," he said.
Both Loeb and Howell are pursuing their civil cases against the police.