Couple alleges police overreach in New Hyde Park

Jed Hendrixson
An image still from the video Kan Tan took of his Tesla "loaner" vehicle being towed. (Photo courtesy of Kan Tan)

A Floral Park family plans to file a complaint of police overreach with the Nassau County Police Department following an incident in New Hyde Park that left them out in the cold.

According to Kan Tan, he and his family were treated unfairly by an officer after being pulled over by a police officer on Jericho Turnpike Feb. 10.

Nassau County police said they were currently looking into the matter.

“From the moment he pulled me over he was very aggressive,” Tan said.

Tan said that he, his wife and their lawyer, Jean Wang, are currently deciding how to move forward, but plan to file a complaint of overreach with the department.

Tan and his family were driving down Jericho Turnpike returning home from Sunday grocery shopping. He was driving a “loaner” vehicle provided by Tesla, as his car was at the dealership shop in Syosset for service work.

The loaner had California plates and, it turned out, an expired registration.

The Tans were then pulled over by a Nassau County police officer. Tan said that when he asked the officer why he pulled him over, he did not provide a reason, and said his tone was immediately aggressive and short when he asked for Tan’s paperwork.

The officer returned to Tan’s vehicle, informed him that the vehicle’s registration had expired, and said the vehicle was going to be towed, according to Tan.

In addition to a ticket for the expired registration, Tan was given a ticket for lacking insurance, even though he had insurance to cover the loaner, he said.

Tan said he repeatedly pleaded with the officer, trying to explain that the vehicle was a loaner and that he was not responsible for the vehicle being unregistered.

Three other patrol cars arrived on the scene as Tan’s loaner car was towed away, according to a video of the incident he recorded. Tan said he believes the towing, as well as the officer’s conduct, was unnecessary.

“I don’t think it had to end that way,” Tan said.

In an interview with Pix11, Wang said that the incident was a case of police overreach. She contended that the only lawful reason to impound a vehicle is if the driver is under arrest, if the vehicle is evidence or part of a crime or if there’s a clear-cut public safety concern.

“He was set on impounding the vehicle from the get-go because he knew he couldn’t arrest Mr. Tan for any reason so the only way to punish him or to make his life miserable was to impound the vehicle,” Wang told Pix11.

Tan, his wife and their two children, a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, watched as the loaner vehicle was towed away, he said. He contacted the Tesla dealership and an Uber was ordered to bring the family home.

About the author

Jed Hendrixson

Jedidiah Hendrixson is reporter for Blank Slate Media covering New Hyde Park and the Willistons.
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