An NYPD officer who was retired on disability is suing his parent agency for “making him fat.”
“The job is like a tyrant,” said Jose Vega, a 5’10 ex-cop who weighs around 360 pounds as he interviewed a reporter for the New York Post. “I went from 250 to 395 pounds in one year.. I guarantee you, as small as you are, you eat more than me.”
The 46-year-old joined the department after the Marine Corps in 1997, weighing in at only 180 pounds.
Claiming the department “brainwashed” young officers, the ex-cop and his lawyer -Warren Roth- both agree that police work doesn’t always lead to a healthy diet.
“It’s easier to pull into McDonald’s and wolf something down when you’re busy,’’ Roth said.
In 2011, Vega was involved in a physical altercation with a landlord while in uniform, something that damaged how the department looked at him.
“It seemed once they had a guy like me, they used and abused you,” he said. “The more you did, the more they burdened you with.’’
As his stress increased, so did his weight- by 2014, he was medically retired with a $48,000 a year pension.
While that would seem pretty good for many, Vega wanted more: a 3/4 pension to the tune of $74,400 a year.
However, the review board determined that only a small percentage of his job was stress-related.
“They acknowledged my condition, but they didn’t care,’’ Vega said. “I know some people who have gotten disability pensions for a damaged pinkie finger, and here I am with a main organ in my body [the heart] that’s defective, and I’m being denied.’’
Suffering from ventricular hypertrophy. Vega insists that the condition came from stress, as he has a strict diet that he adheres to.
“It’s when you suffer from hypertension. Your heart starts to thicken. It’s from stress,’’ Vega said.
The NYPD declined comment on the suit. A city Law Department rep said, “We’ll review Mr. Vega’s complaint.”
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