Pennsylvania Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Suburban Phila. municipality and cop sued for false arrest

By Jon Campisi | Oct 9, 2012

A Bucks County man is suing a suburban Philadelphia municipality and one of its police

officers over claims that he was zapped with a Taser gun and falsely arrested following a prior incident in which the plaintiff was the victim of an aggressive driver.

Kevin Jon Kimball, of Levittown, Pa., accuses Bensalem Township, which is located right outside of Philadelphia County, and a township police officer identified only as John Doe, of various counts including false arrest, false imprisonment and excessive force stemming from an incident on June 10 of this year during which the plaintiff was taken into custody after he had attempted to make a report of a motorist driving erratically.

The lawsuit, which was filed at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia Oct. 4 by Philadelphia attorney Brian J. Zeiger, states that while driving along Street Road in Bensalem at about 10 p.m. on June 10, Kimball was cut off by a pickup truck, whose driver proceeded to slam on his brakes in an apparent attempt to cause the plaintiff to get into an accident.

Kimball called 911 to report the dangerous behavior on the part of the truck’s operator, and the plaintiff followed the offending vehicle, which eventually pulled into the parking lot of the Bensalem Police Department.

Upon arrival, a township police officer immediately went over to the pickup truck, and then approached the plaintiff and asked him for driver identification information, the suit states.

It was at this point that the officer told the plaintiff he was free to leave the scene, although the plaintiff expressed a desire for the police to take action against the pickup driver.

“When the officer told the Plaintiff to just leave, Plaintiff became suspicious of the relationship between the other driver and the police officer,” the lawsuit states.

It was at this point that a second police officer, the defendant in the civil action, came out to the parking lot and joined in the conversation.

The first officer informed the plaintiff that a police report would be available the following week; the plaintiff continued to protest that nothing was being done to the other driver.

As the plaintiff went to leave the scene, he made a remark to the driver of the pickup truck, and then told the second officer to go “[obscenity] himself,” the lawsuit states.

At this point, the defendant officer pulled Kimball from his vehicle, threw Kimball up against the car, and handcuffed the plaintiff, the suit reads.

Kimball ended up falling backward onto the ground after he was yanked by the officer, at which time Kimball injured himself since he fell on top of his hands, the lawsuit claims.

The defendant officer then zapped the plaintiff with a Taser gun, although the lawsuit claims Kimball had done nothing to deserve this treatment.

Kimball was subsequently held at the police station for at least six hours, after which an internal affairs investigator showed up, expressed his apologies to the plaintiff, and released Kimball.

As a result of the incident, Kimball sustained injuries to his hip, wrists, and burns from the Taser gun, the lawsuit alleges.

Kimball also experienced trauma and distress, pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of liberty, the complaint states.

The lawsuit contains counts of unreasonable and unlawful seizure, excessive force, municipal liability, false arrest and false imprisonment, and assault and battery.

Kimball seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $200,000, as well as a trial by jury.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-05686-GP. 

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