A federal lawsuit has been filed by a man from Pennsylvania who alleges that police officers beat him until he lost consciousness.
Maintenance worker is beaten by police as he boarded his boat
The incident began at a marina in the town of Bridgewater. The victim worked in the area as a maintenance person and he was about to get into a boat when the officers arrived on the scene. The two cops approached him and immediately asked for him to identify himself. The victim only gave his first name, then went into his boat. The police followed him as he was moving away, and they were apparently frustrated that he did not also tell them his last name.
The lawsuit details what happened after the officers boarded the boat without authorization. The victim was tased, grabbed, pinned on the floor, and placed in handcuffs. After the victim was subdued and on the ground, the filing claims that he was tased again and punched in the face. The victim was then dragged away from the area by his limbs.
The plaintiff claims that as of the time of the filing, he is currently unable to work and in severe emotional and physical pain. A photo from shortly after the beating shows him with two black eyes that are shut closed, and a number of other abrasions around his face and upper body. Other details that emerged from the initial pleading include the fact that the victim was beaten while another officer stood by and watched while the violence took place.
The attorney who filed the case claims that his client was nearly beaten to death by the officers, and that he posed absolutely no threat of violence or harm once he was handcuffed. He also commented that police are not allowed to use force after a subject is detained and subdued, unless there is some kind of clear threat of continued violence.
The victim’s lawsuit further claims that the officer responsible for the beating had a history of disciplinary issues, yet the department allowed him to remain in his position. The Bridgewater Police claim that both officers are no longer employed in their department, but they declined to comment further. They said that they have not seen the lawsuit yet. The victim was initially charged with a number of crimes related to the incident, but all of the charges were dropped except for a disorderly conduct misdemeanor.
The case was filed in Beaver County, Pennsylvania which is just west of Pittsburgh.
Are the police allowed to stop someone for not giving a name?
If police want to detain someone or arrest someone, they need probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. A crime is not created when they command someone to stop without an underlying reason to investigate.
In this particular case, the fact that most of the charges were dropped was probably due to a prosecutor reviewing the arrest and realizing there was no way the suspect would be convicted based on the evidence available. It is common in incidents of police misconduct for the officers to essentially make up a reason why they needed to use force and make an arrest after the fact, even when all of the available evidence shows that they are being dishonest.
Remedies for this kind of misconduct
The federal lawsuit will attempt to compensate the victim for his lost wages and medical treatment that was caused by the officer’s actions.
Get help after a police beating in Pennsylvania
If you have been harmed by the police in Pittsburgh or anywhere nearby, there is help available. USAttorneys.com has a listing of police brutality lawyers who focus on these kinds of cases.