4 file lawsuit against 3 police departments
Two of the men say police beat them after they were handcuffed.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A $2 million lawsuit alleging excessive force has been filed by four people against the Warren city, Warren Township and Champion Township police departments.
The lawsuit was filed late Tuesday afternoon in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. No hearing date has been set.
The four -- Brett Hemberger, Meghan A. Collins, Jason A. Mills and Mark Mills -- were arrested by police officers March 2 after a break-in at an Enterprise Drive Northwest construction site and a subsequent chase. A facility for the Trumbull-Geauga Solid Waste District is under construction there.
The lawsuit states Warren city police officer Emmanuel Nites and an unidentified officer hit Jason Mills after he was handcuffed. Mills states in the lawsuit he was beaten with flashlights. The suit says Mills suffered multiple fractures of his arm.
The lawsuit further says Nites struck Hemberger in the back of the head and other officers kicked him and beat him with flashlights.
Officials with the Champion and Warren Township police departments could not be reached.
Greg Hicks, city law director, said he has not received a copy of the suit and so he cannot comment.
Hemberger, 23, of North River Road, Warren, is facing charges of breaking and entering, resisting arrest and assault on a peace officer. He was located in the crawl space of the building, "where he actively resisted arrest, refusing to give the officer his hands and striking the officer several times during the struggle," the Warren city police report states.
The police report further states that Nites and Hemberger fell through the ceiling. After the fall, Hemberger continued to resist arrest, the report states. Nites was taken to the hospital by officer Ed Hetmanski and was kept there several days because of internal injuries. Hemberger was treated at the hospital.
Jason A. Mills, 21, of Hall Road, Andover, was charged with breaking and entering, resisting arrest and falsification. He was located in an upstairs loft apartment, and gave police false information as they tried to identify him, the report says.
Collins, 18, of Evans Street, Niles, and Mark Mills, 23, of Cherry Street, Newton Falls, both face charges of obstructing justice.
The four also have filed a police complaint with the Warren city police department's internal affairs division. City police say the complaint is pending.