Two claims filed against Schenectady police

Claims involve excessive force, lack of discretion
Schenectady Police Station, January 2017
Schenectady Police Station, January 2017

SCHENECTADY — Two people have recently filed notices of claim that preserve their right to file lawsuits against the city police department over separate cases.

In one notice, Anthony Marotta claims a city police officer held him in handcuffs for 10 to 15 minutes, though Marotta obviously did not fit the description of the suspect — who had a very similar name — police were seeking.

In the other notice, Kenneth Loeber claims officers used excessive force when they took him into custody on a menacing charge in February.

City police Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico would not comment on either notice of claim.

Loeber, 53, of Madison Street, was accused of threatening a woman with what appeared to be a rifle, according to court paperwork filed in the case at the time. Loeber has since pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation, prosecutors said.

Police received the report, got a warrant, forced entry to his home and arrested Loeber, police said at the time of the arrest. No weapon was found.

Loeber wrote that he told people to stop honking their horns, took his sleeping medication and went to sleep. He awoke to flying glass and his door being smashed open.

“I was thrown on the floor, and two officers forced my head into glass shards while the other ones stomped on my feet and kicked me,” Loeber wrote. 

Loeber filed his notice of claim May 26 on his own, without the aid of an attorney.

Police alleged in court documents at the time that Loeber refused to get on the floor and swore at officers while giving them the middle finger.

Loeber wrote the officers then dragged him down the street while his arms were pulled up into the air behind him in a position that made it difficult for him to walk.

He wrote that the incident has exacerbated certain health conditions he has, and he wakes at night with panic attacks.

He is seeking $100,000 for injury and $10,000 for damaged property.

Marotta’s case dates to March 15, when his wife called police over a missing vehicle, according to his notice of claim filed in late April. 

Police arrived and began speaking to his wife. He joined in the conversation, and officer Joseph Lima then asked him if he was Antonio Marotta. Marotta said he was. Lima then placed him in handcuffs, the notice reads.

“(Marotta) opined that they were making a mistake,” the notice states. “Instead of using rudimentary listening skills, Officer Lima immediately placed (Marotta) in handcuffs.”

The notice of claim argues police had a description of the suspect — also named Antonio Marotta — as being 21 years old and weighing 130 pounds, with braids. They also knew the suspect had the suffix “II” on his name. 

Marotta was 44, had short hair and weighed about 256 pounds, the notice states.

Officers removed the handcuffs within 15 minutes, acknowledged their mistake and left the home, the notice states.

Marotta is represented by attorney Gennaro Calabrese. Calabrese also represents Christian Baez, the plaintiff in an excessive force lawsuit filed last summer against city police officers, including Lima, over a 2014 incident. That case is pending.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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