Richard Lewis, 25, said he was pulled over in Manhattan Aug. 3 for running red lights, and he and a passenger were arrested when police found 13 counterfeit credit cards in the vehicle.
"I was pulled over and arrested and my car was seized. I was at the precinct for 12 or 13 hours. I posted bail and was released the next week," he said.
New York City Police Department records indicate the car was in "good" condition when it was seized Aug. 4, the New York Post reported Tuesday, but when Lewis had it returned to him, "The back window was broken, my driver's side door was keyed and my bumper was scratched," he said.
On Aug. 15 he received a red-light violation ticket in the mail, he said. A traffic camera took a photograph of the car and its unidentified driver, committing a traffic offense in Manhattan while the car's owner was still in custody and the car officially in the hands of the NYPD, the newspaper said.
Marvyn Kornberg, Lewis' lawyer, said his client does not intend to pay the traffic ticket.
"The police department employee driving his car through a red light in a non-emergency situation should be required to pay the summons," Kornberg said.