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May 20, 1986
Sergeant & Three Cops Charged in Beating of Vagrant

by Anne E. Murray
FOUR cops have been charged in connection with the alleged beating of a homeless man in Grand Central Terminal.

A police sergeant and three officers also arrested an advocate for the homeless who tried to intervene in the incident.

The Police Dept.'s internal affairs unit began an investigation following the arrest in February of Ishmel Gonzalez and George McDonald.

"I'm pleased that justice has been served," McDonald, who works for the Coalition for the Homeless in Grand Central Station, said yesterday.

"The N.Y.P.D. is tops in my book for the way they conducted this investigation."

McDonald said he was in the station at 9:30 p.m. when he saw a Metro-North cop pushing Gonzalez out of the station.

Four cops from the Street Crime Unit pushed Gonzalez up against a wall and one allegedly hit him in the side of the head with a flashlight.

McDonald objected to the way the officers treated the homeless man and was arrested on two counts of disorderly conduct when he tried to intervene.

Gonzalez was arrested and charged with assault and resisting arrest. Those charges were dropped last week.

But a Manhattan District Attorney spokesman said Gonzalez pleaded guilty two days later to an attempted robbery charge in an unrelated case that took place in the vicinity of Grand Central.

According to the charges against the cops, Sgt. William Gans "wrongfully struck" Gonzalez.

Gans also was charged with falsifying reports.

Officers Frank Cush, James Conway and William Erdogan also are charged with filing false information in the incident.

A department spokesman said the officers face penalties ranging from reprimand to dismissal after a departmental trial.

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