Doylestown Borough, police dept. sued for wrongful arrest, excessive force

By Jon Campisi | Dec 5, 2013

A Bucks County man is suing the Doylestown Police Department and two

borough officers for civil rights violations stemming from an incident in which the plaintiff was allegedly arrested and stunned with a Taser gun without cause.

Paul Bradberry, who resides in Pipersville, Pa., filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia Dec. 3 against the police department, Doylestown Borough and Officers Keith J. Dietz and Wayne Jones over a March 17 encounter.

The complaint says that Bradberry was lawfully standing on the sidewalk on West State Street in downtown Doylestown at about 12:50 a.m. that morning when he was approached by Dietz, who asked the plaintiff for identification.

When Bradberry, who maintains he was doing nothing wrong, questioned the need to produce an ID, Dietz detained and arrested him, the lawsuit states.

As Dietz was escorting a handcuffed Bradberry to the police car, the plaintiff continued to question why he was being arrested.

It was at this point that the officer allegedly pulled out his Taser and shot Bradberry repeatedly in the back, the suit claims.

The complaint alleges that at no time did Bradberry physically resist the efforts of Dietz to arrest and transport him.

The plaintiff was ultimately charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and criminal mischief.

Bradberry claims that Dietz knowingly and deliberately made false statements, in bad faith, which he did not believe to be true in an affidavit of probable cause that he submitted to a magisterial district judge.

An arrest summons was subsequently issued for Bradberry on the basis of the false statements made by Dietz, the lawsuit states.

During a preliminary hearing in April, Dietz, while questioned about the events of that night, testified that it appeared as though Bradberry might attempt to head butt the officer, the complaint states.

The magisterial district judge ended up dismissing all criminal charges against Bradberry following the hearing, except the third-degree misdemeanor of disorderly conduct, the record shows.

At the end of April, the suit goes on to state, defendant Jones allegedly made false statements in support of an affidavit of probable cause that Jones submitted to a local judge with the intent to have an arrest warrant issued.

Jones was seeking to charge the plaintiff with aggravated assault, which is a second-degree felony, simple assault, and resisting arrest.

After Bradberry was arrested on the second affidavit, his lawyer contacted Jones to advise the officer that there were factual assertions in the affidavit that were “clearly and demonstrably false,” and that corrective action be taken.

Corrective action, however, was never taken, and the defendants pursued yet another case against Bradberry, the suit states.

Then, in mid-November, Bradberry was again cleared and acquitted of any and all criminal charges against him.

At trial, it was revealed that the defendants had actual possession and knowledge of, but “actively hid, suppressed and/or withheld, in bad faith,” exculpatory evidence, including photos, a videotape and breath test results, that would clear Bradberry of the crimes for which he was accused.

The lawsuit accuses Doylestown Borough and its police department of turning a blind eye and ignoring Dietz’s “repeated acts of misconduct,” since he was supposedly known to have previously “bullied, abused, and victimized” other people during the course of his official duties.

The plaintiff claims he suffered physical injuries, including Taser burn marks and scars, as a result of his contact with Dietz.

He also claims to have suffered embarrassment, mental anguish, humiliation and severe emotional distress.

Bradberry also says he incurred unnecessary costs and expenses because of the defendants’ actions.

The suit contains counts of false arrest, excessive use of force, assault and battery, denial of due process, malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, disparagement/injuries falsehood, negligent implementation/enforcement of policies, negligence, negligent training and negligent supervision.

Bradberry seeks more than $150,000 in damages.

He is being represented by Doylestown attorney Eric G. Marttila of the firm McNamara, Bolla & Panzer.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-07032-RB.

More News

The Record Network