Man falsely accused of rape and beaten by Phila. cops files assault and battery claim against officers

By Jon Campisi | Jun 29, 2012

A man who contends he was severely beaten by Philadelphia police officers after he was wrongfully suspected of having committed rape has filed suit against the individual cops in state court.

Attorney Thomas Fitzpatrick, of the Philadelphia law firm of Moody, Shields, Mincey & Fitzpatrick, filed the civil complaint June 27 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Philadelphia resident Joseph Smith.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Philadelphia Officer Charles Kapusniak and a fellow officer who is only identified by his last name, Aponte.

According to the complaint, Smith was physically assaulted by the two cops at about 10 in the morning on July 1, 2010.

The officers had caught up to Smith, whom they had suspected of committing a rape, as the plaintiff was riding his bicycle along the 1400 block of Newkirk Street.

The two defendants grabbed Smith, pulled him off of his bike, threw him to the ground and proceeded to beat and punch him several times before shocking Smith with a jolt from a Taser gun, according to the complaint.

The officers also allegedly shouted obscenities as they unleashed their assault on the plaintiff.

As a result of the incident, Smith sustained injuries to his eyes, face, chest, groin, back, arms, legs and “overall body,” the suit states.

The injuries required Smith to seek medical attention.

The complaint further states that Smith was wrongfully arrested on the rape charge and that the criminal charges were dismissed after the defendant officers failed to show up to court on three separate occasions.

The suit claims that as a result of the alleged beating incident, Smith continues to suffer from emotional anxiety and distress, fear, humiliation and embarrassment.

Smith demands a judgment of $50,000.

Arbitration has been scheduled for next spring.


The case ID number is 120603502.

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