A jury on Friday awarded the infamous “God-complex” doctor of New York $1.2 million in her excessive force lawsuit against the city.
Former New York surgeon Rachel Wellner struck an officer in 2016 with her vehicle trying to avoid a parking ticket. She was subsequently arrested and then went on a rant during her fight with police at the scene, saying, “I’m the hero; the cops are not. I don’t accept the summons. I’m a doctor. I have patients that are dying. I have to go.” The New York Post at the time, and in reporting since, labeled her as having a “God complex.”
In one report, the Post also said she shouted during her tirade, “All women who are cops are dykes.”
The episode would end up transforming the doctor’s life, as she became unemployable in her field, due to no one’s fault but her own.
The official NYPD account of the incident said that Wellner parked in a crosswalk on her way home on Feb. 18, 2016. She exited a nearby store as two officers were writing a ticket for her Volvo. That’s when she tapped into her high-and-mighty persona and started to berate the cops, insisting they needed to ignore her violation and let her leave.
The cops tried to cuff Wellner in her car as she was screaming, “Help! Police are assaulting me!” At that point she hit the gas, striking Officer Niguel Vega in the legs.
Wellner’s version of the story was unsurprisingly quite different. According to the Post:
“Here I was, trying to defuse a situation, offering to move the car, apologizing. I got the feeling I was being pre-judged. The optic was, ‘Here is a doctor who thinks she can do anything she wants.’ ”
She claims she asked for the ticket: “I don’t want to fight, I just want to get the ticket. I have patients I have to get to, and I assume you guys have more important places to get to.”
Vega snapped, “Don’t rush me.”
Wellner claims Officer Nicolett Davodian called her a “despicable bitch” as soon as she saw the illegal park. Vega, now trying to arrest her, punched her in the chest and grabbed her around the rib cage, near her breasts, and wouldn’t let go, Wellner says.
When Vega finally released her, Wellner maintains, she retreated to her car and tried to close the door, but Vega kept the door open by wedging his body in. She hit the gas because she feared for her life, she said. “I definitely didn’t hit a police officer,” she said.
Following news reports, she was placed on administrative leave and ordered to not contact anyone at the hospital where she was employed. She was eventually fired and has been unable to find employment as a doctor since.
Initially charged with reckless endangerment and resisting arrest, Wellner plea-bargained to a charge of disorderly conduct. After losing her livelihood, the former surgeon left New York City and reportedly is trying her hand at becoming an erotic novelist. According to the Post, the book Wellner is most proud of is an untitled one about “hot and heavy relationships, threesomes and taboo affairs with married men, older men and younger men.” She has also dabbled in stand-up comedy.
A jury of six women and four men voted unanimously in Wellner’s favor on her excessive force lawsuit. Regarding the judgment award, Wellner’s attorney said, “We’re just happy they were able to see through the lies and deception of the police and were able to get to the truth of the matter.”
Wellner still has a lawsuit pending against the hospital from which she was fired.
In the criminal justice system, jury’s are composed of your “peers”, and wealthy surgeons can afford highly expensive attorneys which can compel a jury to rule in one direction or another. Even in cases where the surgeon is anti law enforcement.
— John Lucas (@luc1med) April 27, 2019
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