BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Harig and his attorney, James Ostrowski, have filed a notice of claim against the City of Buffalo for malicious prosecution.
This past summer Harig was arrested and charged with gang assault, assault and harassment after being accused of being part of a fight, which ultimately left one of the men with a neck injury.
But Harig’s attorney says he was falsely charged.
“Austin was going to the aid of a gentleman who was assaulted and he was falsely arrested,” said Ostrowski. “We consider this to be a case where there’s zero evidence of guilt.”
Ostrowski claims there are no signs of police bias pertaining to Herig’s Buffalo School Board battle against Carl Paladino, but says it is still unsettled.
“In the course of discovery we will certainly inquire as to any bias that any of the officers had against Austin,” Ostrowski said.
Months since the incident and the school board loss to Paladino, Harig says that it has since changed his life.
“When I ran for the school board and did everything I did, I didn’t really expect such things to have happened to me after I ran and it profoundly affected my life," he said. "I had to sit in jail for two weeks for a crime that I had nothing to do with.”
Harig also added that he is not at liberty to comment on if he feels that he was targeted by police for any specific reason, except for the way police treated him.
“They were coming to my house very late at night and shining flashlights up into my window at random intervals," he said. "I had an air that they didn’t like me but I didn’t expect a false charge of this gravity to be filed. I was charged with a B felony, facing twenty years in prison.”
Harig also said feels insulted by the media for a crime he didn’t commit and claims it was the most humiliating experience of his life.
“What I want is justice. I want to figure out why these officers did what they did -- if there was a reason,” said Harig.
The City of Buffalo has yet to release any statement or comment on the notice of claim.
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