Beaver, PA — For many years we, at The Free Thought Project, have published story after story of small-town police departments and officers allegedly terrorizing its residents with threats of being tasered, beatings, head-stomping, and arm breaking arrests at the hands of the very people who are sworn to protect and serve them. Unleashing attack dogs on compliant citizens is also, unfortunately, a very real part of that list.

Beaver, Pennsylvania has a population of just over 4,000, with one of its residents being James Cicco (34). Cicco told his lawyers he has been harassed by police in the past, so when Beaver Police Officer Jeffrey Wijnen-Riems attempted to pull over Cicco for a traffic violation, the man decided the best place to pull over would be at his home.

Cicco’s lawyer, Geraldo Benyo, told reporters it only took 13 seconds to pull over, and that his client was being compliant for the entire duration of the traffic stop which took a violent turn for the worst. Wijnen-Riems can be seen in the dash cam footage approaching Cicco’s car.

“The video does depict Mr. Cicco getting out of his vehicle with both hands palms out and raised and then he only retreats into his vehicle as officer releases the K-9,” Benyo explained.


He opened up Cicco’s car door and then began to attempt to extricate the man from his small SUV. However, we consulted with a close-quarters hand-to-hand combat expert who concluded Wijnen-Riems tactics were not standard procedure.

The officer can be seen placing Cicco in a painful wrist-lock which has the potential to break the man’s wrist. The patrolman then began cranking his arm behind his back, another move intended to break either the man’s arm or dislocate his shoulder.

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According to our expert, at no time did the officer attempt to unbuckle Cicco’s seatbelt and drag him out of the car. It appears Cicco unbuckled his own seatbelt, at which time the officer then flung him to the ground.

Instead of placing the man in handcuffs, he went back to his vehicle and released his attack dog, a German-Shepherd. As Cicco sees the dog approaching, he jumped back into his car and shut the door, as anyone afraid of police attack dogs may do.

Once again, Officer Wijnen-Riems opened the car door, this time aided by his dog, who began to viciously attack him, biting him under the arm, in the armpit, exposing gaping wounds. He bit his back as well.

The small-town police officer, who some are now calling a bully, then charged Cicco with multiple charges including fleeing and eluding and driving without a license. Cicco fought the charges and his case was brought to trial. The jury could not agree on a verdict, ending the court case in a mistrial.

The district attorney reportedly said he would not retry Cicco, and now the man is suing for having his civil rights violated in an apparent excessive use of force.

“This entire incident resulted over an aggressive police officer who was upset because on the way to non-emergency call Mr. Cicco didn’t get out of way fast enough,” Benyo said. The lawyer said his client’s fears of police brutality, “Turned out to be pretty accurate with having the fear.”

After obtaining the dashcam footage, the Beaver Countian also obtained audio of the officer’s call. In the audio, the cop is heard joking about the damage his dog inflicted on Cicco.

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Disturbing indeed.

Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine
  • Sandra Bell

    Wrong to sick an attack dog on someone who was getting out of the car. He only got back in quickly and slammed the door because he was obviously afraid of being mauled, which was what anyone would do, and he was mauled and injured. However, this driver had continued driving for an extended time with the police lights (and probably a siren) following him. Not smart or lawful. If a police car with lights flashing were following me, I would pull over immediately or expect trouble.

    • Nathan Ebbesen

      Read the article. 13 seconds transpired between the time the officer turned on his lights to the time the man stopped. That is more than reasonable compliance time, and safer for both parties because if you didn’t notice, the residential road they were on didn’t have much of a shoulder to pull onto.

  • Zackknowitall

    Why no audio on dash cam? Oh just kidding I know that police make a habit of breaking then so they won’t record audio.

  • Gordon Klock

    For some angry cops, even genuine attempts at compliance, are not ‘good enough’…sending the dog after him, was clearly unnecessary, & needlessly cruel, they seem to consistently maintain the criminally insane attitude, that people are just annoying semi-inanimate objects, like broken appliances, that might start working again, if one ‘bangs them around hard enough’….
    (needing stitches for a “traffic violation”, seems seriously unreasonable, stupid, & crazy, to me)….

  • G’ma G

    I am a hard core dog lover. These handlers have destroyed an intelligent loving creature and turned it into a vicious danger to society. Most localities have a vicious dog ordinance. It would be interesting to use it against them.

  • Ibcamn

    pain pain pain,this terrorist is doing nothing other than inflicting as much pain as possible,by using his badge…he even tried to do it another way,he was going to shoot him,but then he went for the dog…pain.this guy and the terrorist are kinda like two friends that just had enough of each other,watch,this is not a cop pulling over a citizen,its like watch a fight….the cop slams the seat belt and runs to his car to get the weapon[dog]and then sic it on the man,then he is seen trying to break his arm,twice all while his dog chomps down on him…..anyone watching can see this is a clear case of a cop pissed st a man he has stopped in the past,he just wanted to inflict pain on the guiy…why else would a cop act like this,he just tries to arrest the guy[knowing thats his house]and then stops and then runs back to his car[after he thinks about shooting the guy]gets his dog returns to start all over again.i can see it for it is……been there done it…………cops are criminals people,wake up

  • Carey Haber

    This is a cop I hope doesn’t last long.

  • World Touch

    Animal abuse mixed with cowardliness.

  • Brett Ray

    What a piece of shit that cop is! I hope the front of a speeding car finds him standing on the side of the road. Maybe he’ll get caught under it and dragged along for a mile or so while still alive. I would stand and laugh at him if he caught on fire and DAMN sure would piss on him to help.