December 11, 2023

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For many years, the dedicated legal professionals of Ronemus & Vilensky, LLP have represented those injured through no fault of their own. With their expert legal representation and guidance, injury victims have been able to recover millions of dollars in financial compensation. As one of the most successful personal injury law firms in the greater New York City metro area, Ronemus & Vilensky are known for their compassion and their highly-personalized legal services. In recent news, the law firm is representing the family of a man believed to have been wrongfully killed by the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

The Fatal Police Shooting

In the early morning of Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the NYPD arrived at an apartment building located in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx to execute a search warrant. The warrant targeted drugs and guns on the premises. When police entered a third-floor unit in the building on Brook Avenue, they were confronted by 69-year old Mario Sanabria. According to police, Sanabria was brandishing a 2-foot long machete. Police officials that Sanabria failed to comply with demands to drop the weapon; one of the officers on the scene discharged his service firearm, striking Sanabria in the chest. He later died at an area hospital. Another man in the apartment, Sanabria’s  92-year old brother-in-law Natalio Conde, was brought to a medical facility for observation after the fatal shooting.

Family Sues the City

In 2018, Robert Vilensky of the law firm Ronemus & Vilensky, LLP was selected to represent the surviving family members of Mario Sanabria. In the wrongful death lawsuit, the family claims that police officials executing the search warrant had false information, failing to use due diligence to investigate the actual residents of the apartment before executing the “no knock” warrant. Sanabria was not named in the search warrant; in fact, police were searching for his brother-in-law’s 38-year old son Miguel. Miguel Conde was later arrested outside the apartment. Eventually, charges were dropped. In the execution of the search warrant, no weapons were found, and only the remains of a marijuana cigarette were recovered. In essence, although drugs and guns were targeted by the warrant, none were located by investigating officers.

Both Sanabria and Conde families retained Ronemus & Vilensky for the purposes of the lawsuit. The lawsuit against the city and the NYPD is attempting to recover $50 million in damages for claims including:

  • Mario Sanabria’s wrongful death at the hands of law enforcement officials.
  • Miguel Conde’s wrongful arrest.
  • Emotional damages sought by Natalio Conde, who believed he was being attacked by armed intruders as a result of officers entering the apartment to execute the incorrect search warrant.

The case is still working its way through the New York City court system. The NYPD has launched its own investigation into the death and false arrest of Sanabria and Conde family members. Attorneys for the family are confident that they will prevail in court, securing financial compensation for the tragic death of one of their loved ones and the unlawful arrest of another.