Kenneth McElroy, 45, has filed a lawsuit in Boston Federal Court alleging Civil Rights violations by the Lowell Police Department. He is seeking $500,000 in damages for a herniated disc, nerve damage, and soreness and bruising that caused him to miss several months of work.
The incident resulted from McElroy’s arrest on criminal charges including Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Disorderly Conduct. Attorneys representing the City of Lowell Police Department claim the lawsuit is without merit and have asked that the suit be thrown out.
According to his lawsuit, McElroy drove to Lowell in April of 2008 to pickup up James Earle who was to help him with a construction project. As he was driving, the operator of a parked truck opened its driver’s-side door and nearly caused an accident. Not knowing if McElroy had struck the vehicle, he got out of his truck to see if there was any damage to either vehicle.
The driver of the other car, John Berard, then allegedly ran up and punched him in the face. Earle then got out of the car and stopped the assault, and as McElroy went to leave, Berard chased him with a hammer and crowbar.
Conversely, Berard told police he was sitting in his truck when McElroy sped close. Words were exchanged and the men got involved in a physical confrontation, at which time McElroy pulled out a knife. According to Berard, only when McElroy displayed the knife did he then grab a hammer.
Eventually, Lowell Police Officers responded to the incident and McElroy claims that when he tried to explain to them what transpired, the officers told him to shut up and placed him under arrest. He alleges that the Lowell Police Officers grabbed him by the shoulder, threw him against a fence, squeezed him by the neck and threw him to the ground.
In order to succeed on his Civil Rights lawsuit against the Lowell Police Officers, McElroy must demonstrate the existence of a municipal custom or policy that intentionally deprives him of his rights. On this basis, the attorney’s for the Lowell Police Officers claim that his suit has no merit.
With regards to McElroy’s criminal charges of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Disorderly Conduct resulting from this incident, he was charged in the Lowell District Court and the case was eventually dismissed in August 2008.
Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has extensive experience in defending persons accused of Crimes of Violence, and can also assist those who claim they were the subject of excessive force by the police officers resulting from their arrest.
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