Old 09-23-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
Lionel Mandrake
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Federal lawsuit filed against New Castle police officer

January 8, 2011 By Staff New Castle News


NEW CASTLE — A New Castle policeman faces a federal lawsuit, accused of excessive force during the arrest of an Enon Valley woman.

Angela Lynn Banks, along with her husband, Thomas Gregory Banks Jr., filed the lawsuit against officer Justin Crum and the city. The suit, filed in federal court in Pittsburgh, stems from a summer incident on West Moody Avenue. It was filed on the Bankses’ behalf by attorney Gianni Floro of Allegheny County.

According to the complaint, Angela Banks was at the home of her father, Thomas Dryfuse, on June 14 when Crum shined a spotlight on the front porch of the house.

The suit says Dryfuse asked Crum to turn off the light and a verbal altercation erupted between the two. The complaint outlines a profanity-laced argument with Crum allegedly telling Dryfuse to be quiet or he would be arrested.

According to the suit, Dryfuse then extended his hands to be handcuffed. The suit says Crum handcuffed Dryfuse and dragged him to the police cruiser, slamming Dryfuse against the hood.

All the while, the suit claims, Crum was cursing at Dryfuse.

Angela Banks then called 911 to complain about a police officer being out of control. At that time, the suit says, Crum returned to the porch, knocked a female relative out of the way and confronted Banks, cursing at her and threatening to use a Taser on her.

After another alleged verbal altercation, the suit says, Crum grabbed Banks, cuffed her and took her to the cruiser. The suit says that Crum pushed down on Banks’ head and she heard a crack in her neck. Then, while Banks’ leg was still out of the car, the suit claims Crum ran a Taser down her leg in what is termed “a dry tase.”

Banks cried out and she was tased again, the suit says.

At the city police station, the lawsuit claims, Crum questioned Banks’ sexuality and described her as a “fat pig.” She was cited for disorderly conduct, but the charge was dismissed when Crum did not show up for the hearing.

Her father was cited for disorderly conduct for using obscene language or gestures. He pleaded guilty to the summary offense.

In the first of four counts in the lawsuit, Crum is accused of using excessive force against Angela Banks without probable cause. Even though she did not resist arrest, Banks complains of hand, wrist, arm and leg injuries, as well as psychological trauma. She said she sought medical and psychiatric attention as a result of the incident.

The second count accuses Crum and the city of malicious prosecution and false arrest, noting that Crum did not appear for the hearing.

The third count claims Banks suffered emotional distress because of the way Crum treated her father in her presence.

Finally, the suit names Thomas Banks as the plaintiff, seeking damages from Crum for loss of consortium.

Total compensation sought in the lawsuit is in excess of $300,000, plus legal fees and punitive damages.

This is the second recent lawsuit Floro has filed against a Lawrence County police officer. The previous one was filed in regard to an alleged incident in Ellwood City.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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If I still had my PACER account, I'd post all the significant docs from this suit.
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