A coffee vendor whose product so displeased a county judge that he was hauled into court in handcuffs and given a tonguelashing has been awarded $141,000 for violation of his civil rights.
Suffolk County Judge William Perry lost his $40,000 job over the incident.
A Brooklyn federal court jury awarded 37-year-old Thomas Zarcone $80,000 in compensatory damages to be paid by perry and Deputy Sheriff James Windsor, who handcuffed Zarcone; $60,000 in punitive damages to be paid by Perry; and $1,000 in punitive damages from Windsor.
According to testimony, Judge Perry had sent Sheriff Windsor to buy coffee from Zarcone's truck outside the courthouse on the evening of April 30, 1975. Ten minutes later. Zarcone testified, he was handcuffed and told "to come the judge's chambers to see about the coffee, because it was terrible."
Zarcone said Perry yelled at him and claimed his coffee had been watered down. He said the incident, which occured in traffic court in Hauppauge, N.Y., caused him to have nightmares in which he saw Perry hurling daggers at him. He said court-house workers stopped buying food and beverages at his truck, forcing him our of business.
Perry was removed from the bench 12 days ago by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court for "false testimony" about the incident.