Philadelphia man files assault and battery claim against city police captain and officer

Jon Campisi Aug. 31, 2011, 3:08pm

A Philadelphia man who alleges that the attack on the part of a local police captain and another officer left him with numerous physical injuries is suing those who allegedly perpetrated the violence against him.

Philadelphia lawyers Michael C. Schwartz, Jonathan J. James and Jill J. Holden, of the firm James, Schwartz & Associates, P.C., filed the assault and battery claim Aug. 26 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Raheem Holman.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are police Cpt. Anthony Washington and Officer Shawn Hagan.

According to the complaint, Holman was leaving a local neighborhood corner store at close to 8 p.m. on March 2, 2010, walking down 21st Street toward his home with a friend of his, identified as Willie Hall, when he was suddenly intercepted by the two uniformed officers.

At first, Holman and Hall were asked to put their hands on the nearby police car so the officers could search them. But soon the encounter turned violent, when Holman questioned why the two were being detained, the lawsuit states.

Using profanity and racial slurs, the officers eventually became irate after Holman asked why he was being asked to drop to his knees at one point during the interaction.

“This apparently enraged Defendant Hagan, who immediately, and without legal cause or justification, swung his right arm around Plaintiff and punched him with a closed fist in the right side of the face, followed by another blow to Plaintiff’s face,” the suit states.

The complaint alleges that Washington, the police captain, then swung his expandable baton down on top of Holman’s head, causing the plaintiff’s head to split open and bleed profusely.

When Holman fell to the ground, he continued to be beaten with the baton about his legs, ankle and back, the suit states, all the while being handcuffed behind his back.

Two more officers allegedly joined in on the beating, the suit claims, and the violence subsided only when the plaintiff’s mother came around the corner and yelled, “Stop beating my son, stop beating my son,” the lawsuit states.

Holman was eventually transported to Methodist Hospital where he had to receive 11 staples to close the wound on his head. He also had to undergo other tests and treatment for contusions to his face, ankle and body, the suit claims.

Following his medical treatment, Holman was transported to the First Police District, where he was held for about two days without being informed of the criminal charges against him. He was eventually charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, the lawsuit states.

Holman was also charged with disarming a law enforcement officer, according to the complaint.

Following a March 9, 2010 preliminary hearing, the charges of terroristic threats against Holman were dropped for lack of evidence, the suit states. The other charges proceeded.

But on Aug. 24 of this year, following a jury trial, despite the testimony of defendants Hagan and Washington, Holman was found not guilty of all charges.

Holman’s civil suit contains counts of assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Holman seeks relief in the form of compensatory damages in excess of $50,000, unspecified punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other court costs.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The case number is 110803934.

More News