New Rochelle Development Commissioner Involved in Elevator Altercation with Worker at Trump Plaza

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle Development Commissioner Luiz Aragon is apologizing for an incident earlier today involving an employee at the Trump Plaza where Aragon lives.

“I apologize to everyone I care for.” Aragon told Talk of the Sound. “I know better than to get physical.”

Aragon said he was in the elevator when an employee directed a homophobic slur at him. Aragon says he responded by pulling the man off the elevator.

Sources at City Hall say the employee involved in the incident filed a complaint with the New Rochelle Police Department

CCTV video of the incident obtained by Talk of the Sound shows a verbal altercation underway shortly after 6 a.m. on Friday.

Aragon, in a purple cap holding his dog on a leash can be seen blocking the elevator as he directs words at a man in the elevator. The man is standing in the corner of the elevator holding onto a metal cart with wheels. Aragon reaches over, grabs the cart and pulls it towards the elevator door, pulling the man forward in the process. Aragon then grabs the man’s jacket from behind pulls him forward then pushes him off the elevator into the hallway as the dog scurries around the cart. Aragon and the dog stand in the elevator as the door closes with the man and the cart in the hallway.

Emails and calls to the police and city officials were not returned.

Aragon has overseen a transformation in New Rochelle’s downtown development. Under his leadership the City has rezoned approximately 300 acres of the City’s downtown to accommodate over 10 million square feet of development.

UPDATE SUNDAY 9/27 9 AM: City officials confirm a police report was filed but man with the cart in the video, as of Friday, did not wish to pursue charges.

UPDATE 10/27 4:50 PM Talk of the Sound has confirmed with his lawyer, the man seen in the video in a verbal and physical altercation with Luiz Aragon filed a police report on Friday and will be back at the New Rochelle Police Department on Monday with his lawyer to reiterate his desire to press criminal charges against the New Rochelle Development Commissioner.

UPDATE 10/27 9:00 PM The City will issue a statement on Monday, according to City Manager Charles B. Strome.

UPDATE 10/28 12:40 PM Statement from City Manager Charles B Strome:

“We are aware of an incident involving a City staff member which occurred last week, off-site and outside of business hours. No further comment at this time.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Luiz Aragon’s 2019 salary is $196,843. He will be eligible for full retirement benefit (30 years of credited service) in the New York State Pension System in January, 2020, sources say.

UPDATE 10/28 4:00 PM New Rochelle Development Commissioner is expected to be criminally charged as early as today in relation to a physical altercation in the Trump Plaza elevator with an employee after the victim spent almost two hours with New Rochelle Police this afternoon. Aragon will likely be arraigned in New Rochelle City Court tomorrow. Talk of the Sound interviewed the victim outside NRPD headquarters. He said he was delivering newspapers in the building as part of his job when the altercation ensued. He denied using any homophobic slurs. He fully intends to pursue charges against Aragon.

BREAKING 10/29 12:30 PM: Luiz Aragon to be charged with Harrasment, a violation, according a court official speaking on background. NRPD has still not released Incident Report/Arrest Report. Aragon expected in court for arraignment at 3 pm today in New Rochelle City Court. A request by Talk of the Sound to take photos/ shoot video was denied, “for all media”.

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