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Aaron Hess Sues Briarcliff Liquor Store

His attorney said it is believed Henry bought booze at the store the night before his death.

Officer Aaron Hess has filed a lawsuit against , the establishment he believes knowingly sold alcohol to underage student Danroy "DJ" Henry on Oct. 16, 2010, the night before he was shot and killed by Hess in Thornwood.

"We have done our own investigation," said Mitchell Baker, the White Plains attorney representing Hess. "We determined Mr. Henry obtained the liquor from this liquor store."

According to Baker, the suit is based on the Dram Shop Act, which provides "that if you sell liquor to someone illegally and that person who is later intoxicated creates injury to someone else, the person who was injured can bring a lawsuit against the person who sold the liquor."

He said he believes the night's events could have turned out differently if Henry had not been intoxicated and holds the Briarcliff Manor store accountable for the night's tragic outcome.

While initial lab results at the time of his death (above the legal limit of .02 for anyone under age 21), Henry family attorney and have claimed they do not believe he was drunk.

"If this suit is about DJ is being drunk, that is where you get a false premise," said Danroy Henry Sr., DJ's father. "We know the autopsy confirmed that DJ wasn’t drunk. If they’re filing this suit based on some false premise that DJ was drunk, it’s really a non-starter because DJ wasn’t drunk—the autopsy confirmed it."

Baker went on to explain the lawsuit is directed at Briarcliff Wines & Liquors rather than Finnegan's Bar & Grill—the now defunct establishment where Henry spent his last hours—because he believes Henry did not drink at Finnegan's, but rather sporadically went outside to his car during his time at the bar and ingested alcohol there before returning inside.

However, after the shooting, Henry family attorney Michael Sussman said in DJ Henry's Nissan and continued to refute the claim Henry was intoxicated.

"Those are the two pieces that are the least forgeable, they’re the least changeable," Henry Sr. said. "You can write whatever number you want, but in theory you can’t add content to the stomach and you can’t add content to the digestive system. There was no alcohol in the digestive system—zero—trace amount of it in his stomach—which is consistent with what people said they saw him do. He had a part of a drink in the evening  and didn’t drink anything after that because he was driving."

Hess was hit by the car driven by Henry at the scene and suffered several broken bones in his knee as a result, said Baker. His kneecap also "went into his femur" as a result of the hit, which has prevented him from returning to work in Pleasantville.

"It does not look at the present time he will be able to return to police work," Baker revealed, adding Hess has been rehabilitating at his Chappaqua home since being released from the hospital.

Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant police officers responded to the Thornwood Shopping Center in the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2010 to aid Finnegan's in dispersing a crowd. Henry while behind the wheel of a car.

Earlier this year, a Westchester County Hess on a murder charge in the case, while Sussman has . He later announced the Henry family is suing Hess and the Village of Pleasantville for $120 million.

Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer previously stated the village finds the lawsuit "is without merit."

"We intend to vigorously defend the Village and Officer Aaron Hess," his statement in response to the lawsuit reads.

Hess by members of the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association.

Baker said the lawsuit against Briarcliff Wine & Liquors, which does not list a specific amount of damages sought, was filed through the New York secretary of state on Friday afternoon and was served this morning.

No one was available for comment at Briarcliff Wine & Liquors, which is closed on Mondays. Henry family attorney Michael Sussman was not available for comment.

Misty Dawn June 27, 2011 at 08:55 PM
There is just no end to the gall of this man. DJ Henry was NOT drunk. We will never know if Hess was drunk because he was not tested as he should have been considering he had just murdered an unarmed student. It's been rumored that he aggravated his pre-existing knee ailment jumping onto the roof of the car to shoot young Mr. Henry---this does not qualify as "injury". His pre-existing knee ailment was already fixed on the taxpayers dime, he has attorneys on the taxpayers' dime---what more does he want? Must be time for a new boat or something. Sociopath. NO ONE should have been hurt that night. He was NOT threatened, he walked in front of the car, gun already drawn and started shooting---AGAINST department policy. Everything that happened was HIS fault and no one else's.
Mark Hase June 28, 2011 at 04:40 PM
This is the wrong liquor store. The Report found that Manor Wines on Pleasantville Rd in the main part of Briarcliff Village legally sold the alcohol in question to Henry's friend who was of age and showed valid identification. The investigation that took place also included Briarcliff Wine and Liquors, but no evidence was found to show any wrong doing of Briarcliff Wine and Liquors on the night in question. The owner of Briarcliff Wine and Liquors was told by the investigators that nothing was found to incriminate the store and the owner of Manor Wines was told he did nothing wrong in selling the alcohol to Henry's friend and would not have to deal with any legal repercussions. The former owner of Briarcliff Wine and Liquors should now file a counter suit again Mitchell Baker and Aaron Hess for wrongful accusations, wrongful suit, and defamation of character, considering Mr. Baker decided to go on channel 12 news and say the former owner of Briarcliff Wine and Liquors sold the store to block a lawsuit. Not only is this ludicrous because this would not stop a lawsuit if the former owner was guilty of these accusations but the former owner was told he was totally cleared by the investigation and sold the store for business reasons ONLY.
MoveForward June 28, 2011 at 06:11 PM
DJ was drunk. DJ used a fake ID to enter a bar. DJ hit a police officer with his car. Did he deserve to be shot? Of course not. It is a terrible tragedy, but his decisions leading up to the shooting put him in that situation. Didn't your mama ever tell you that nothing good happens after 1 AM? Pace might only be marginally better than WCC, but try to obey the law and study while you are there and try to make something of your lives.
ASleepyBoy June 28, 2011 at 06:37 PM
"Pace might only be marginally better than WCC" - What is that supposed to mean?
Misty Dawn June 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM
Mark Hase, thank you very much for this information. Now the picture is more clear with these liquor stores and what happened. What a desperate "blaming" fool Hess is and how inept this new attorney is---Mitchell Baker. I agree, the former owner of Briarcliff Wine and Liquors should absolutely sue Hess and Baker.
Misty Dawn June 29, 2011 at 11:43 AM
"Didn't your mama ever tell you that nothing good happens after 1 AM?" (quote from MoveForward) Answer: Yep, but she never told me that I could be murdered in cold blood by a police officer who was sworn to serve and protect me. DJ Henry was NOT DRUNK. DJ Henry did NOT hit Hess with his car.
Kenny Hanover June 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Trying to bring a dram shop suite is asinine. Aaron Hess you are scum. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG_iDZbSZ3I
Misty Dawn June 29, 2011 at 03:06 PM
Kenny Hanover, I could not agree more.
Kenny Hanover June 29, 2011 at 07:28 PM
@MoveForward - You argue like Hellen Keller, what school graduated you? Because it must be significantly worse than WCC for you to draw those conclusions and present those arguments as your sole reasoning.
Just Curious June 29, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Hess is a total dooche. Why in the world would you jump onto the hood of a moving vehicle? He thinks he's Chuck Norris or something. Moron cop.
Pville84 September 22, 2011 at 02:49 AM
He hit a cop. If this was the city. Nobody would blow this up like ot is. Arron hess did 3 tours in iraq and was an nyc cop before coming to pleasantville. Running over a cop with a car justifies the shooting.
Justice19 March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Aaron Hess is nothing but a dirty murderer and should be put away for life. He is disgusting! DJ did nothing wrong. Shots should have never been fired and Aaron Hess should have never ran in front of a car that was trying to remove themselves from chaos. Justice for DJ - this will be served

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