Philly cops sued over alleged assault and false arrest resulting in broken arm

By Jon Campisi | Nov 30, 2011

A Philadelphia man is suing the City of Philadelphia and a handful of municipal police officers for injuries he allegedly sustained after being assaulted by the cops during an incident this spring.

Attorney Martin Stanshine, of the firm Stanshine & Sigal, P.C., filed the personal injury complaint Nov. 28 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Anthony Hall.

Aside from the city, the additional defendants named in the lawsuit are Officers Sullivan and Schubert, (no first names given), as well as five unnamed John Doe officers.

According to the civil action, Hall was riding his bicycle when the officers, while chasing the plaintiff in their police squad cars, cut another vehicle off, causing that vehicle to crash into Hall’s bicycle and sending the plaintiff flying into a telephone pole.

The incident, which occurred in the area of 23rd and Oxford streets, happened despite the fact that the officers had no reason to be chasing Hall in the first place, the lawsuit claims.

“… There was neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion to believe that he [Hall] had committed a crime,” the lawsuit states.

After officers got out of their cars, they threw Hall to the ground, handcuffed Hall and beat and kicked the man while he was down on the ground in a defenseless position, the suit claims.

One officer even managed to break Hall’s arm after he dove onto Hall, and landed on Hall’s left arm with his knees, the suit claims.

The officers discontinued their assault only after a passerby witnessed the attack, and yelled at the officers to stop, the lawsuit states.

The officers ran the bicycle’s VIN number to see if the item was stolen, and when it was discovered that the bike was not stolen, the officers took Hall’s handcuffs off and released him, according to the complaint.

Prior to being released, Hall requested that the officers take him to the hospital due to his injured arm, but the officers allegedly told Hall he could walk there. Soon, however, an ambulance showed up to take Hall to the hospital, according to the suit.

“Plaintiff was never charged with any offense as a result of this incident and plaintiff had committed no crime and none of the defendant officers had probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that he had committed a crime,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit accuses the involved officers of committing assault, battery, false arrest and/or illegal stop and detention.

According to the complaint, Hall ended up sustaining a fracture of the left humerus bone extending to the elbow joint with lateral displacement of the distal fragment with several fracture fragments.

For each of the two counts listed in the complaint, Hall seeks compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 plus attorney’s fees and other court costs.

The case number is 111102453.

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