STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE

Man Arrested Over Viagra, Sues for Humiliation

A Brooklyn man was arrested for possessing Viagra—now he’s suing for ‘emotional trauma, embarrassment, and humiliation.’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

The FDA may have legalized “female Viagra” just last week, but one Brooklyn man was recently arrested for having the male version in his possession.

Earl McLeod, 33, was driving along Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant this past February when suddenly a police officer pulled him over.

Officer David Esparragoza of the 79th Precinct demanded that McLeod and his three passengers exit the vehicle in order to conduct a search. In the arrest papers, Esparragoza claims he noticed McLeod drop a bottle with an Ibuprofen label to the ground. Inside the bottle he found one small blue Viagra pill and charged McLeod with illicit ownership of a controlled substance.

The following day, McLeod made an appeal before a Brooklyn Criminal Court and the charges were dropped. But for McLeod, dropped charges are limp comfort.

According to his lawsuit, McLeod is demanding monetary compensation for “emotional trauma, embarrassment, and humiliation.”

Signed into law by President Nixon in 1970, The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) regulates the manufacturing, possession and distribution of certain substances. Though the Viagra pill requires a prescription, the suit McLeod files claims that “Viagra is not a controlled substance and possession of it is not a criminal act.”

McLeod’s lawyer, Nicholas Mindicino of Stoll Glickman & Bellina LLP, told The Daily Beast that the cops’ actions were a violation of his client’s consent rights, loss of liberty, and emotional injury. Mindicino admits that though his client “did not suffer long term emotional damage, he was with people and was handcuffed. He was embarrassed and afraid he would face the potential drama of being jailed.”

According to Mindicino, why the cop stopped the plaintiff is unknown and ultimately the whole affair was an issue of “competence.” The officer must simply have not been educated in what a controlled substance actually is, claims Mindicino. “The issue is of an officer not knowing how to do his job—that’s a training problem need to be addressed by the city.”

The NYPD has declined to comment.

Mindicino said, “It seems the officer just wanted to mess with my client.”