Man Sues Meriden Police After Alleged Assault
By SAMAIA HERNANDEZ
The Hartford Courant
6:16 PM EDT, May 2, 2012
A Higganum man has filed a federal lawsuit against three Meriden police officers, alleging that one of them slammed his head to the sidewalk and knocked him unconscious as the others stood by during a 2010 motor vehicle stop.
Robert E. Seagrave was a back-seat passenger in a car driven by Rocky Knuckoles that was stopped by Officer Kathyria Maldonado in the area of Hanover and South Grove streets on July 15, 2010, the night of the alleged assault, the lawsuit states.
Officer Kenneth Egan, who responded to the scene for back-up with Officer Vasco Lacerda, ordered Seagrave to exit the vehicle and place his hands behind his back, the lawsuit claims.
When Seagrave reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet, Egan "physically assaulted Seagrave by slamming Seagrave down where Seagrave hit his head on the sidewalk," the lawsuit states.
After the alleged assault, Maldonado called an ambulance to the scene, and Seagrave was taken to MidState Medical Center for treatment.
The lawsuit claims he lost consciousness after the assault and regained consciousness in the emergency room. He had lacerations to his head, face, nose and left eye.
Seagrave was initially charged with interfering with police and released on a $5,000 bond. Those charges were later dropped to creating a public disturbance, the lawsuit states, and Seagrave paid a $100 fine.
City police will bring in a third party to investigate the allegations, Mayor Michael Rohde said Wednesday.
"There's an internal investigation, and we usually bring in a third-party to investigate," Rohde said.
Chief Jeffry Cossette declined to comment Wednesday.
Other allegations of police brutality have also become the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into the department and its officers.
And state police investigated an incident in April where an officer tasered and fatally shot Raul Rosado, who was allegedly charging at police with scissors. State police also investigated the death of Angel Hiraldo who was tasered by police the same night.
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