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  1. #1
    twohits is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Can I file a civil suit?

    What is the name of your state? I am from Mass and I would like some advise on an arrest. On Oct 31 2003 at 3:00 PM my wife and I walked to the bus stop to pick up our 7 year old son. Right before the bus arrived a police cruiser showed up and parked on our street. My wife and I walked across the street, took our son off the bus, held his hand and proceeded back to our home. As we were walking my son asked why the police were here? I said I don't know, it seems people have too much time on there hands. I made this comment because we were having some difficulties with a few of our neighbors. When the comment was made we were walking by the officer who was speaking to one of the female neighbors whose husband is a Watertown Mass Fire Chief. After I made this comment the woman stated to the officer "see he does this all the time". My wife and I just kept walking with our son. About 5 seconds later the officer yelled out and demanded I walk over to him. The three of us walked over to the officer who was now standing on the sidewalk away from the woman. The first comments out of his mouth were "Mr. R you have to stop wasting our time" I said "what are you talking about?" He said "this is a waste of our time." I said " I still have no idea what you are talking about who called you? That is the one who is wasting your time." Now keep in mind my wife was to my left and I was holding my son's left hand. Immediately after I made the last statement the officer grabbed my son by his wrist and pushed him to the ground. He then grabbed my right arm, twisted it and turned me around throwing me up against the police car. The officer forced my arm up behind my back at which time I felt intense pain in my shoulder. He cuffed me and said I was under arrest for creating a disturbance. My son was screaming "NO,NO,NO". My wife started screaming "what are you doing he was just talking to you". It was ironic that on this particular day the neighbors came to the bus stop with video and still camera in thier posession. I was taken to the station and booked for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. Twenty minutes later as I was still having my picture taken the arresting officer called the station and added a third offense for threatening to commit a crime. He stated that according to the Fire Chiefs wife, while I was in his custody, cuffed in the back seat and as he was driving away to take me to the station I turned, looked through the metal protected holed window and made the statement "I am going to kill you" to the Fire Chiefs wife. The officer didn't hear me say this while we were in the car together and apparently the chiefs wife can read lips through two inch round holes in metal plates on the cruiser window. As it turns out and was stated on the police report, the Watertown Fire Chief was the one who called the police while he was at work in the Watertown Fire station. These two towns are 15 miles apart. At 1:00 PM the Fire Chief called the Maynard police and asked for a police presence for something that he felt might happen and apparently the police abliged. The charges were eventually dissmissed after 1 1/2 yrs and numerous court appearences. My son had to go thru phsycological treatment and I was diagnosed with rotator cuff injuries that required PT and cortizone shots. The Maynard Police even filed a complaint against my wife the same day I was arrested for creating a disturbace because she was emmotional for what happened to me and my son. I found out through the probation office that the arressting officer had a history of bad arrests. The complaints kept on coming from the police. They kept suggesting we move out of a town we lived in for 20 years. It cost me $33,000 for this defense, we moved out of town and lost many friends. My soccer and baseball coaching careers were over as well. Do I have any recourse? I filed an Internal Affair report against the officer and they never interviewed my wife, son or any of the neighbors who knew what was happening and sided with our family. What can or should I do. There is much more to tell like this Watertown Fire chief forcing my wife and son off the road while in Maynard and driving his fire car with lights and sirens on. The State Police told me he cannot do this but the Maynard Police stated he is permitted to use his car for emergencies. The alleged emergency was taking his daughter to the hospital for a hurt hand. Yet my wife observed this same chief, driving the opposite way away from the hospital, two minutes after he forced her from the road. School just got out 2 minutes earlier and the school did not have to call an ambulance. It goes on and on. What can I do. Please advise. I had to spent all of my savings and monet I put aside for my kids education for this arrest. I need someones advise. I am now broke, had to up root my wife and three kids and we are still very afraid of the Fire Chief and the powers he holds. I will gladly answer any questions any of you may have but someone please respond.

    Last edited by twohits; 02-07-2005 at 07:33 AM.
  2. #2
    Cogar is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I think I would contact the American Center For Law and Justice..you can find them in a search engine. Although they deal in religious matters, they may take your case.

  3. #3
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    You may have potential causes of action for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and violations of your constitutional rights that can be pursued through a 1983 claim. Go see an attorney specializing in civil rights in your area for a better evaluation.

    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  4. #4
    twohits is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Thanks badapple40

    Thanks badapple40. Can you offer me any more advice. Do you think I have a shot at a civil law suit. This town ( Maynard ) is so corrupt it is not even funny. I have many old neighbors who will now testify in any legal proceedings. Thank You for your support. I at least want to bring this issue with the Fire Chief and the Maynard police officer to the attention of the people. By filing a suit I know the media will print it. I have a ton of info documented and pictures of the fire chief drinking in the street with his beer can put in a neighbors mail box.

  5. #5
    GaAtty is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    You should post this under civil rights and discrimination. As an attorney who does civil rights cases, in particular police misconduct, I can tell you that you seem to have a case for excessive force and illegal arrest. You should be aware that you have a statute of limitations which is ticking away--you may be out of time on some claims, so as soon as possible check with an attorney. You should get an attorney from your state because they need to know your state law, even though they will probably do a case in federal court. The best way to find good civil rights attorneys is to call an ACLU in your area, or even the state office of the ACLU. Most all of the best civil rights attorneys are known to the ACLU staff, even though the attorneys don't work at the ACLU, they all work in the same area of law and the ACLU staff will know who does police misconduct cases. While I am appreciative of your injuries and the false arrest (it happens every day), I really wonder at those charges in themselves being reason to move out of town. Disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and "threatening to commit a crime" (never heard of that one) are not my idea of things that could smear your reputation forever, especially since the charges were dismissed. However, your injuries and the other things were sufficient, find a civil rights attorney who does police misconduct and don't keep stalling or you will be too late.

    Last edited by GaAtty; 02-09-2005 at 07:29 PM.

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