Court Roundup

New Hampshire

Man who hurt arm after Taser used sues police

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire man who broke his elbow when a Sanbornton police officer used a stun gun on him is suing the officer and town in federal court.

In his complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Concord, Dennis Huckins, 29, of Tilton, said he was wrongfully detained and prosecuted for resisting arrest. He's seeking compensation for medical bills, emotional distress and damage to his reputation.

The town and Officer Mark McSweeney maintain in court filings that the use of the Taser and the charge of resisting arrest were justified.

Huckins was arrested in 2009 after McSweeney ordered him to perform a sobriety test after he stopped his car outside a general store.

In his police report, McSweeney wrote that Huckins appeared nervous and worried and made poor eye contact, and that he asked him to perform a sobriety test because he had a "glassy look" in his eyes, the Concord Monitor reported. Huckins' lawsuit argues that he wasn't intoxicated and doesn't even drink alcohol, and that a sobriety test based solely on a "glassy look" is not justifiable.

In his suit, Huckins claims McSweeney used a Taser on him for no apparent reason after he started walking away when the sobriety test was over. McSweeney said he used the stun gun after Huckins began running away before the test was completed.

Huckins fell to the ground and broke his elbow, costing $20,000 in medical bills, the suit says.

McSweeney ended up charging Huckins with resisting arrest, but a judge later dismissed the charge.

The lawsuit alleges that the charge was prosecuted "in bad faith and with malice."

A jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 16.


Winona diocese responds to Supreme Court ruling

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Diocese of Winona says it's pleased with the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that rejected a clergy abuse lawsuit by a man whose case rested on a repressed memory claim.

In a statement released Thursday, the diocese says it's committed to ensuring the safety of children and young people at its parishes, schools and other programs.

James Keenan of Savage sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, alleging abuse in the 1980s by Thomas Adamson, a priest who is now defrocked. Keenan brought his claim outside the statute of limitations, but argued that it should be allowed because he repressed memories of the abuse. A district court rejected that claim, but the state Court of Appeals revived it.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with the district court's finding.


Pittsburgh settles G20 lawsuit with journalist

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The city of Pittsburgh has agreed to pay $27,500 to settle a wrongful arrest lawsuit brought by a journalist swept up in protester arrests during the Group of 20 economic summit nearly three years ago.

Robert Dew, of Austin, Texas, was covering the protests for and the Alex Jones Radio Show, when he was arrested videotaping the protesters in Schenley Plaza on Sept. 25, 2009 and jailed for about 12 hours.

City solicitor Dan Regan says the city will pay a $25,000 deductible and it's insurer will pay the balance of the settlement.

The city is not acknowledging wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Online court records show the parties had agreed to dismiss the lawsuit last week.


Lawsuit filed over photo in 'Gang Book'

CHICAGO (AP) -- A man whose picture appears in the Chicago Crime Commission's Gang Book contends the group damaged his reputation by falsely labeling him as a gang leader.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Edward Arroyo sued the commission Wednesday in Cook County.

The Chicago Crime Commission released its Gang Book in January as a guide to inform law enforcement, parents, teachers and business owners about street gangs. It includes gang profiles, maps and information about gang trends.

Arroyo's lawsuit contends his name and picture are featured in a section about the Spanish Gangster Disciples' leadership. He says he isn't affiliated with any gang.

The commission hasn't yet seen the lawsuit, but spokesman John Pastuovic says the book is based on police records and interviews with informants, law enforcement and gang members.

Published: Fri, Jul 27, 2012