Meriden CT Police Department Sued For Brutally Beating A Car Passenger

The post below was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously by a reader using the pseudonym “Accountability,” via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Robert Seagrave filed a federal lawsuit against three Meriden police officers stating that on the night of July 15, 2010 one thuggish police officer purposely slammed his head on the sidewalk and knocked him unconscious as the other police officers stood by.

Robert was sitting in the back-seat as a passenger in a car driven by his friend Rocky Nuckols, which was stopped by Officer Kathyria Maldonado in Meriden.

Officer Kenneth Egan responded to the scene as back-up with Officer Vasco Lacerda. He demanded Robert exit the vehicle and place his hands behind his back.

When Robert reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet, Officer Egan suddenly attacked and physically assaulted Robert by slamming Robert head first down so that Robert hit his head on the sidewalk.

After the gratuitous attack was over and Robert was unconscious, Officer Maldonado called an ambulance to take Robert to the hospital.

Robert lost consciousness after the assault and regained consciousness in the emergency room. He had lacerations to his head, face, nose, and left eye.

The thug police then decided to tack on bogus charges and Robert was charged with interfering with police and subsequently released on a $5,000 bond. Those charges were later dropped to creating a public disturbance and it seems Robert paid a $100 fine.

Via the Record-Journal:

MeridanPolice

MERIDEN — Another lawsuit has been filed against members of the Police Department, this one by a Higganum man who says he was badly injured during a 2010 arrest.

Robert Seagrave, 54, filed the federal suit against officers Kenneth Egan, Vasco Lacerda and Kathyria Maldonado on Monday, claiming they violated his civil rights by using unreasonable force during an arrest. He is represented by attorney Sally A. Roberts, who is pursuing several lawsuits against the city and the Police Department.

City Attorney Deborah Moore declined to comment on the suit Wednesday, citing policies on pending litigation. Police Chief Jeffry Cossette has repeatedly declined to comment on the specifics of brutality allegations, but has defended the department’s actions.

None of the officers named in the suit responded to a request for comment Wednesday.

Seagrave alleges that at around 1 a.m. on July 15, 2010, he was sitting in the backseat of a car being driven by a friend, Rocky Nuckols, in the area of South Grove Street and Hanover Street when Maldonado pulled them over. Egan and Lacerda arrived as back-up officers, and all three passengers were ordered out of the car.

Seagrave says he reached for his wallet in his back pocket to provide his identification as Egan was performing a pat-down search. Egan then allegedly slammed Seagrave to the ground, with Seagrave’s head hitting the sidewalk.

Egan’s report stated that Seagrave acted aggressively during the incident and hit the ground as officers attempted to subdue him. Seagrave did not file a complaint with the department after the incident, according to Roberts.

According to the lawsuit, the blow caused Seagrave to lose consciousness; he woke up at MidState Medical Center. He suffered cuts to his head and face, and needed stitches near his left eye.

He was charged with interfering with police, but Seagrave’s lawyer said that charge was later dropped to creating a public disturbance, and he paid a $100 fine. A search of the state’s judicial branch website found that Seagrave has served prison time on multiple counts of driving under the influence, but shows no convictions since 2003.

According to a report filed by Egan, he ordered Seagrave, Nuckols and an unidentified third passenger out of the car after noticing that Nuckols, who was heavily intoxicated, reached for a large ratchet handle on the passenger side floor. An unlabeled prescription bottle full of pills was found in Nuckols’ pocket, and Egan ordered him to sit in the back of a police cruiser, according to the report.

A check of the unidentified passenger turned up nothing suspicious, so Egan turned his attention to Seagrave, who was also heavily intoxicated and unable to respond to basic questions. Egan wrote that as he performed a pat-down search, he asked Seagrave to hand over a pack of cigarettes he was holding.

Seagrave refused, Egan wrote, and “tensed up” as he tried to pull the cigarettes from his grasp. He told Seagrave to relax, but Seagrave pulled away and began moving toward Maldonado, according to Egan.

“Seagrave was aggressively swinging his arms at this point, yelling about handcuffs, so I quickly wrapped my arms around his waist and took him to the ground where I could gain control and compliance over the aggressive male,” Egan wrote.

Egan said Seagrave hit his head on the sidewalk during the struggle, and that an ambulance was called to take him to MidState. He later spoke with Seagrave at the hospital, where Seagrave stated he could not remember the confrontation, admitted he had had too much to drink and apologized to Egan, according to the report.

Nuckols was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drugs near a prohibited place, operating under suspension and driving while intoxicated, for which he was sentenced to 18 months in jail. There is no record of the third passenger having been arrested.

In an email to the Record-Journal, Roberts said her client never apologized, and was subjected to unfair treatment despite not having been engaged in any criminal activity.

“It is not a crime to have had a few beers and to be seated in the backseat, not behind the wheel,” she said.

Lacerda, Egan, and Maldonado remain on the city force. Egan is on administrative duty while state police investigate the April 21 death of Raul Rosado, who police say attacked officers with scissors before being shot.

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About Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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16 Responses to “Meriden CT Police Department Sued For Brutally Beating A Car Passenger”

  1. t. May 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    So really drunk guy starts fighting with the police, hits his head when they try to restrain him, and is now suing the officers, even though he admittedly has know idea what happened……..o.k. got ya.

  2. Amigajoe May 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    T you’re taking the officer’s word as gospel and responding based on it. We all know that cops LIE. Where’s the usual weasel rhetoric about ‘one person’s side’, and ‘bet there’s more to the story’, complaints about lack of details, etc that we’d get if the person claiming brutality was relating the tale? Sadly the officer’s version of events is no more credible than a random person off the street; really less so because of its self-serving nature.

  3. Chris Mallory May 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    All the cop lie buzz words on in the report. The 3 men should have been left in the back seat of the car, period. This violence was purely started by the cops.

  4. t. May 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Amiga Joe: I just read the post article there dick. Cop Block posted it so it MUST BE THE TRUTH. Don’t blame me for Cop Block’s inaccuracies.

    Chris: they can’t leave them there if they arrest the driver and tow the car. Think it through.

  5. Timbo May 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Yeah, Chris! So instead the cops just beat you up. Gosh!

  6. Amigajoe May 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    @T
    dick? Really? Copblock’s inaccuracies? It’s a straight retelling of the story, including the cop’s version of events, as evidenced by the phrase “According to a report filed by Egan,”, whose word you take as gospel.
    If you were someone I knew and respected I’d say that you were better than that kind of weasely parsing, but perhaps that kind of intellectual dishonesty is SOP for you.

  7. clarkcountycriminalcops May 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    @t….” they can’t leave them there if they arrest the driver and tow the car. Think it through.” No, but once out of the car, the two passengers were free to go, taking their possessions (ie cigarettes) with them. Egan’s own statement, if taken as gospel, only implicates him more.

    “Egan turned his attention to Seagrave, who was also heavily intoxicated and unable to respond to basic questions.” The 5th Amendment allows us all the right to be unable or unwilling to answer any questions by police. Basic or not.

    “Egan wrote that as he performed a pat-down search,” Really, what made him think that Seagrave was armed? And what weapon did he think was being concealed in a pack of cigarettes? “he asked Seagrave to hand over a pack of cigarettes he was holding.”

    So even if Egan’s tale is accurate and “Seagrave refused, Egan wrote, and “tensed up” as he tried to pull the cigarettes from his grasp.” This was all his prerogative to defend himself from a Warrant-less search.

    Yes, cops lie, but as long as most departments don’t require high school diplomas and actually reject candidates for being too smart, then they won’t be smart enough to even lie right.

  8. t. May 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Amiga Joe: So, your saying that the post is the accurate gospel? OK. Then I again say drunk guy starts fight, hits his head when officers try to restrain him, and he’s mad?

    @Clarkcounty: I don’t know why the officer preform the pat down. That’s for him to explain not me. From the end result of this, it was probably because his drunk ass was really aggressive. And where do you people live that that officer’s don’t have to have educations? Out of 60 officer in my PD, there are maybe 2 that don’t have a college education. Most have b.a.’s, some master and some associates. That is the overwhelming majority at all of the pd’s in my area. Maybe you just need to move out of podunkville. By the way, even the guys with out college have extensive military training. I understand that you may be looking on some pd website that say all you need is a high school education, but the reality is far different when it comes to who gets hired.

  9. clarkcountycriminalcops May 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    I wouldn’t call Las Vegas, NV “podunkville.” especially from someone whose department boasts a whopping 60 cops.

    We have more than eight different law enforcement agencies that operate out of Clark County, NV. The largest, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department employs (2,743 officers) and does not even require its recruits to have finished high school, so college is a pipe dream.

    And LVMPD, like many departments in this country, rejects candidates whose intelligence is deemed to high to be suitable.

  10. Anti Cop May 28, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    T said on May 26, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    “So really drunk guy starts fighting with the police, hits his head when they try to restrain him, and is now suing the officers, even though he admittedly has know idea what happened……..o.k. got ya.”

    As per usual, most cops think other “Badge Bully” cops can do NO wrong.. and it looks/sounds like “T” (and other cop lovers) have taken the cops side.

    Years ago being a LEO was a honored profession. Now days the biggest gang isn’t the Crips or Bloods.. but rather those who represent the thin blue line.

    It’s no wonder the general public has NO use for the blue suits. I don’t either. If I was ever in a situation where one of them needed my help for whatever, I would walk on by and let them do it on their own.

    Sorry.. but until you “Badge Bullies” change your tune, whatever evil or nasty happens to you is not my concern.

    Anti Cop

  11. t. May 28, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    @clarkcounty: My department has 60. If you read the entire comment I said that every deparmtnet in the area was the same. That includes the largest metropolitan area in my state including a department with well of 1000 officers p, which I where I used to work. There are 16 different PD’s in my county, not to include several state and federal agencies. And again, all hire very educated guys with the possible exception of the sherrif’s office. Why you might ask. It dramatically lessened exactly what you are talking about. Don’t get me wrong…right now I’m dealing with an administration that is very pro-military and they have hired several former military guys that bring nothing else to the table…my guess is that the admin. will regret their decision.

    But don’t be mislead by your own premise. A college education means nothing. I know lots of folks with lots of “education” that are working in unskilled jobs. A college education only exposes you to ideas and information. With very little brain power you can achieve a degree and gain nothing. There were lots of professors that I had that taught because they couldn’t make in the real world. I know I learned a lot more about dealing with people (which is 98%of what the police do) from living and working than I did from “college”.

    I’ve been to lots of training with officers from Vegas. Their gang and drug unit are professional and top notch. You should be glad you live there and benefit from their professionalism. That is of course unless you are on the wrong side.

  12. t. May 28, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    @Anticop: So, you are able to take the information provided in this story, which can’t even be disputed, and convict the officer of wrong doing. Wow, you must be psychic.

    Don’t blame the police when your dumb drunk ass has something bead happen to you. WE only know what the article says. That’s all (except for your psychic knowledge).

    This stop started out as an arrest for DUI. That is a very good thing. Lots of details missing about what else happened. My very educated guess is that second drunk guy got very aggressive when first drunk guy got arrested. That isn’t the fault of the police. And YES, I CAN restrain someone a ting that way towards me during an arrest or while I’m preforming other parts of my duties.

    As for your perception that the police are not respected and that the general public has “no use” for the police. What a load of shit. I will grant you this much though…there is becoming a clearer line everyday from those that do like the police and those that don’t. Why? Because the more stupid crap that you OWS types do, the more call there is for Team Blue. The more yu breaking into stuff and swipe good peoples property to feed your drug habit, the stronger the call will be for more Team Blue. So if you want less police, be a accountable. Demand accountability from those around you. Turn them in. The sooner people like you and your OWS type thinkers act responsibly, the sooner Team blue fades into the background. I’m betting on job security.

  13. Get even May 28, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    I’m sure these cops are married and I’m sure they would not want their loved ones beat up like this.

  14. clarkcountycriminalcops May 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    @t….”But don’t be mislead by your own premise. A college education means nothing.”

    Actually many studies have shown that officers with a pre-service bachelor’s degree hold attitudes that are less supportive of abuse of authority. If you are interested….http://bit.ly/LwtrmG and http://bit.ly/LC0n9o.

    And, as far as the “professionalism” of LVMPD, just check out my my site.

  15. Angry Citizen May 29, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Meriden police really need to be under investigation just last week they pulled over my friend and asked him was he a blood wtf? My friend got afraid and ran because he had weed on him so when they caugjt him they beat him so bad and instead of calling an ambulance they took him to tje station bloody he was in the cell telling them he could not breathe and it took for him to passout to finally call an ambulance he had to get surgery on his head and a breathing tube down to his lungs which is very,sad meriden police are dirty!

  16. paschn May 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Check out this lunacy, any fool can see this failed system deserves to have sycophants-in-blue protect them from the people’s righteous anger……NOT

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/schools-are-prisons-1/11th-grade-honors-student-jailed-for-truancy-.html

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