Hamilton, NJ — Nicholas Cecala, a 66-year-old grandpa, learned the hard way what happens when police and those they are ostensibly serving have a disagreement. While trying to seek out the supposed service of the Hamilton police department, in protecting his daughter and granddaughter, Cecala was beaten, stomped on, and maliciously prosecuted, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed this week.
Cecala suffered broken ribs, lacerations, and head and neck injuries at the hands of the Hamilton police department, and is now seeking punitive and injunctive relief. According to the lawsuit, the incident left the innocent grandpa “humiliated” and “disgraced.”
Cecala’s run-in with the cops was not because he broke the law, or got caught with an ‘illegal’ plant — he was actually seeking out their help. On September 23, 2014, Cecala walked into the Hamilton police department to speak with officers about the safety of his daughter and granddaughter.
According to the lawsuit, Cecala feared that his daughter was at risk of being harmed by her ex-boyfriend.
As the Trentonian reports:
Cecala “informed the officers he feared for his family’s safety and asked why the police were not doing anything to help,” according to his complaint. Cecala alleges that Hamilton Police Lt. Joseph Mastropolo then “became enraged” and forced him out of a meeting room and into a smaller room, where the policeman allegedly attacked him.
Hamilton Police Officer Fredrick C. Dumont allegedly joined Mastropolo in the melee, according to Cecala’s federal lawsuit. He accuses Dumont of throwing him to the ground and stomping on his body. Cecala further alleges that other cops on the Hamilton Police force had witnessed Mastropolo’s and Dumont’s “savage conduct” but did nothing to intervene.
After beating him senseless — to the point of leaving a boot imprint on his face — officers then arrested Cecala and charged him with resisting arrest, two disorderly persons offenses, disorderly conduct, and obstructing the administration of the law.
Instead of bringing him to the hospital, he was thrown in a jail cell on a $7,500 bond.
“After Plaintiff was processed on the bogus charges and posted bail his daughters, who were waiting for him in the parking lot, rushed Plaintiff to the hospital where he was admitted,” the complaint reads.
All the charges were eventually dismissed.
“Mr. Cecala’s case presents a horrific case of police brutality,” Joel Silberman, Cecala’s attorney alleged Tuesday evening in a statement. “Mr. Cecala responded to the Hamilton Police Department as a concerned citizen looking for assistance regarding a personal matter. When Mr. Cecala expressed a difference of opinion with that of the officers, they threw him inside storage room where he was accosted and beaten.”
After being beaten so badly, according to the lawsuit, Cecala now suffers permanent loss of hearing.
“The fact something like this can take place within a police headquarters raises many serious questions about the culture that exists in the Hamilton Police Department,” Silberman said. Indeed, it does.
The lawsuit names Hamilton Township, Hamilton Township Police Department and five Hamilton cops as defendants. Naturally, the township is denying any and all wrongdoing.
Attorneys for the township are demanding the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice.
“The allegations contained in the Plaintiffs’ complaint and any amended complaint are frivolous, groundless, and without merit,” Hamilton Township’s legal team said.
As the Trentonian reports, the response includes the following defenses:
• Defendants were not negligent.
• Injuries complained of are the result of plaintiff’s own negligence.
• These defendants did not act in any conspiracy against the plaintiff.
• Plaintiff’s civil rights were not violated.
• These defendants acted in good faith and their actions were based on reasonable cause.
While the township denies responsibility for the mistreatment and assault of Cecala, however, they will have a hard time proving their case considering the extent of his injuries and the fact that not a single one of the bogus charges held up.
Sadly, in the Land of the Free, being an innocent grandpa is no protection from police abuse.
Grandpas in the United States have been hospitalized after being beaten by cops over the use of a blinker.
Grandpas in the United States Have been shot in their own homes by negligent cops going to the wrong house.
Grandpas in the United States have been killed in their own front yards for holding a crucifix.
Grandpas have been paralyzed by brutal cops for taking an afternoon stroll and the cop who beat the innocent grandpa got off scot free.
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