Jon Campisi Aug. 14, 2012, 8:29am

Two Philadelphia police detectives are being sued by a city man who claims the officers unlawfully detained him for three days during an interrogation two years ago at which time the plaintiff was deprived of food and water and allegedly coerced into making a statement he later recanted.

Attorney Holly C. Dobrosky filed suit Aug. 8 at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on behalf of Michael Leadum.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Detectives Gregory Santamala and Vincent Perone.

According to the complaint, the two homicide detectives wanted Leadum to testify about a shooting he was involved in back on Jan. 12, 2010.

At the time, Leadum and a friend of his, Daymond Williams, were both shot while they sat inside a vehicle on the 2800 block of Pacific Street in Philadelphia.

Williams ended up dying from his injuries while Leadum spent two months in a coma but survived.

The following summer, the two homicide detectives issued a subpoena to Leadum compelling him to testify, but it was never served.

On Aug. 7, 2010, however, after testifying at a hearing before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, the detectives secured a bench warrant, and Leadum was picked up by police later that day.

The lawsuit claims that for three days, from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9, Santamala and Perone threatened Leadum and his family and detained Leadum for three days while he was handcuffed to a chair and deprived of food, water, sleep, comfort breaks and communication with any family member.

The suit claims that Leadum was also deprived of the pain medication that he was taking relating to his injuries from the shooting.

The defendants finally released Leadum on Aug. 9, 2010, but only after the plaintiff agreed to give a statement relating to the shooting, a statement he later recanted.

The complaint goes on to allege that the bench warrant from Judge Hughes was issued illegally and therefore Leadum’s arrest was illegal, since there was never any probable cause to take Leadum into custody.

“The arrest was based upon the filing of a fraudulent police report and/or arrest warrant prepared by defendants, Detective Gregory Santamala and Detective Vincent Perone, against plaintiff, Michael Leadum,” the lawsuit states.

As a result of his ordeal, Leadum suffered mental anguish, physical pain, depression, nervousness, humiliation, personality change and a loss of life’s enjoyment and pleasure, the suit states.

The complaint also states that Leadum was forced to retain legal counsel and incurred legal costs as a result of his false arrest.

The lawsuit contains federal civil rights violations, as well as state law claims of negligence and gross negligence, malicious prosecution and malicious abuse of process of law, false arrest and false imprisonment, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Leadum seeks damages in excess of $150,000, in addition to interest, costs, attorney’s fees and other court relief.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-04512-AB. 

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