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Hartford Courant - Middletown Man Sues, Says Officer Violated Rights

Posted on Apr 18 2008

A local man who got into a confrontation with a city police officer in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot last year has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the officer violated his civil rights.

The suit, filed Wednesday by an attorney representing Jonathan D'Amico, charges that Officer Marc DelMauro used excessive force during the January 2007 confrontation.

The confrontation began when D'Amico stared down DelMauro while DelMauro and several other officers were in the Dunkin' Donuts on Washington Street. In an internal report, DelMauro said he became angry and followed D'Amico to his car, shouting at him about breaks he had been given in the past.

D'Amico alleged in a complaint filed with the department that DelMauro shook him violently and that his walkie-talkie microphone hit him the face, leaving a bruise near his eye.

An internal investigation found no evidence of assault. But it did find that DelMauro had broken rules related to misuse of authority, the use of profane language and a failure to write police reports on previous encounters DelMauro had with D'Amico. DelMauro was disciplined for the three violations.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday also alleges that DelMauro detained and searched D'Amico without probable cause on two occasions before the confrontation outside Dunkin' Donuts.

It names two other officers - Jamie Seixas and Sgt. Stephen Augeri - who were present during the January confrontation and Police Chief Lynn Baldoni as co-defendants.

D'Amico is seeking unspecified damages for physical and emotional injuries he sustained in the confrontation, according to the lawsuit.

CHARLES PROCTOR
Courant Staff Writer
Contact Charles Proctor at cwproctor(at)courant(dot)com.
Copyright © 2008, The Hartford Courant