Schenectady County

Convicted killer claims abuse by Albany police during arrest

The man convicted of killing 22-year-old University at Albany student Richard Bailey during an attem

The man convicted of killing 22-year-old University at Albany student Richard Bailey during an attempted robbery is suing Albany police, alleging he was punched and hit with a Taser during his arrest.

Devon Callicutt was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing Bailey on Oct. 20, 2008. Callicutt and two accomplices — King “Cokilla” Modest and Ricardo “Rico” Caldwell — were playing dice at Caldwell’s Quail Street residence and when Caldwell lost money gambling, the trio decided to rob people at gunpoint. They accosted Bailey on South Lake Avenue around 11:20 p.m. and Callicutt shot Bailey once in the head after the two scuffled.

Callicutt was arrested Nov. 30, 2008, when a gun he was carrying discharged as he fled a large fight at the intersection of Lark Street and Sheridan Avenue. Callicutt, along with Modest and Caldwell, were charged with Bailey’s killing in September 2009. Modest and Caldwell took plea deals and are serving 10 and 12 years in prison, respectively.

Callicutt claims that on the night of his Nov. 30, 2008, arrest, Officer Anthony Scalise pushed him while he was standing on top of an 8-foot fence in an attempt to flee police. He claims that he fell to the ground, accidentally discharging his weapon in the process. He also alleges that an officer he identifies only as Masters threw him to the ground. He said Masters and another officer, identified as Hogan, held him while an officer named Mahar punched him.

When Callicutt attempted to move his face to a different position, Mahar pistol whipped him repeatedly, according to the lawsuit paperwork. Then, he saw police used a Taser on him until he began to lose consciousness. At that point, he claims an officer said “that’s enough before he dies.”

Callicutt said he had burn marks on his back from the Taser and required five staples to close the gash in his head.

He is seeking $160,000 in damages against six defendants he names in his lawsuit.

Two other police officers are referred to only as “John Doe #1” and “John Doe #2.”

Callicutt’s, who is representing himself in the case, had listed all six defendants in the original complaint as “John Doe.” However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece granted Callicutt permission in December and again in April to amend his complaint to include specific names.

The Albany Police Department has filed a motion to dismiss, saying that Callicutt has failed to bring his claims within the statute of limitations period. A hearing on the motion to dismiss is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court.

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