A Schenectady man acquitted of charges related to a 2014 fight is suing the Schenectady Police Department for alleged excessive force during his arrest and other claims.
Christian Baez, 25, claims officers hit him “without warning or provocation” with a baton-like object before and after being handcuffed, according to the suit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Albany.
He contends that he did not strike or attempt to strike any of the officers and that all charges filed as a result were either dismissed outright or resulted in acquittals after trial.
The incident caused a shoulder injury that left him unable to return to work as a warehouse worker, his attorney, Lee Kindlon, said Wednesday.
“Mr. Baez was a law-abiding citizen trying to do the right thing,” Kindlon said. “He is the father of three kids and now cannot work and support his family because of the callous actions of the Schenectady Police Department.”
The suit names the city as a defendant, along with two officers. City Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico declined to comment on the suit.
According to paperwork filed in court at the time of the early morning May 3, 2014 incident, it started with a car accident. Police responded to break up a resulting fight. Accord to the court filings, police who responded to the incident were surrounded by a group and attacked, resulting in one officer being injured.
Police ultimately arrested three people, including Baez. Baez faced one count each of inciting to riot, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Baez spent the night in jail before being released on bail. The night of the incident, police took him to Ellis Hospital for a shoulder injury. Doctors gave him a sling, which he alleges officers later threw at him.
Prosecutors withdrew the inciting to riot charge prior to trial and the disorderly conduct charge was dismissed. A City Court jury acquitted Baez of the obstructing and resisting counts, the lawsuit reads.
City Court on Wednesday reported no record of the case, which is consistent with dismissals and acquittals.
In all, Baez alleges excessive force, unlawful arrest and imprisonment, two kinds of malicious prosecution, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
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Categories: News, Schenectady County