Phila. Eagles stadium operators and Philly cops face assault and battery claim by sports fan

By Jon Campisi | Jul 11, 2012

A Maryland man has filed an assault and battery complaint against the Eagles sports

stadium operators and a handful of Philadelphia police officers, alleging the cops, who were acting in an undercover capacity at the time, roughed the plaintiff up during what he claims was an unlawful arrest during a football game last year.

Harry Mims, of Silver Springs, Md., filed suit Jan. 5 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against the operators of Lincoln Financial Field, Apex Security Group, Philadelphia police Officers Mark Alston, Joseph Carter and Fran Kelly, and stadium security personnel Christopher Harty and William Waithe.

The complaint was filed by Philadelphia attorneys Michael C. Schwartz, Jonathan J. James and Jill J. Holden, of the firm James, Schwartz & Associates, P.C.

The lawsuit claims that while attending an Eagles season home opener on Sept. 25, 2011 with a friend, the plaintiff was bumped into by a man later identified as Police Officer Alston, who had been working in an undercover role that day as security for the Eagles.

To avoid falling over, Mims placed his arm on top of Alston’s arm, the lawsuit alleges, and asked the man what he was doing.

It was at this point that Mims was surrounded by the other defendants, including Kelly, who informed Mims that the men were Philadelphia police officers.

Mims was then “forcefully and violently” thrown to the ground face first, the lawsuit states, all the while remaining cooperative and not resisting.

After being handcuffed, Mims told Alston that he planned to file a complaint against the officers involved in the altercation with the Philadelphia Police Department.

It was at this point that Mims began to be roughed up and assaulted by the defendants, the complaint alleges. This included throwing Mims against the wall “every few feet,” choking Mims with a forearm, and lifting Mims’ handcuffed arms so as to cause shoulder and wrist injuries.

Mims was eventually taken to a local police station, at which point he asked for, and subsequently received, medical attention for wrist sprain and contusions to his chest, according to the lawsuit.

Mims was later booked and processed, and despite being eligible for bail, he was denied the opportunity post bail.

Mims was instead transferred to a city prison, where he was strip-searched and held until the following day, the complaint states.

“Without legal cause or justification, and based upon the false allegations made by Defendants, Plaintiff was charged with obstructing the administration of justice, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct,” the lawsuit states.

The charges never stuck however; Mims was found not guilty during a bench trial in late January 2012.

The lawsuit claims that Mims has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, mental pain and anguish, and economic and other losses.

The suit contains counts of assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

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

A jury trial has been demanded.


The case ID number is 120700729. 

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