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HOT v. CARMEL CENT. SCH. DIST.

February 11, 1998

MURAT HOT, individually, and as Administrator of the Estate of VAHIDIN HOT and SEVDIJA HOT, individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of VAHIDIN HOT, Plaintiffs, against CARMEL CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT and THE COUNTY OF PUTNAM, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 BARRINGTON D. PARKER, JR., U.S.D.J.

 INTRODUCTION

 This case arises from events that culminated in the tragic death of Vahidin Hot, an 18 year old high school student. Hot's parents, Murat and Sevdija Hot, assert claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, against the Carmel Central School District (the "District") and the County of Putnam (the "County") alleging, in essence, that defendants' failure adequately to train their personnel caused their son's death.

 Both defendants have moved for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the defendants' motions are granted as to all federal law claims. This Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.

 BACKGROUND

 On a motion for summary judgment, "as a general matter, all ambiguities and inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts should be resolved in favor of the party opposing the motion." Brady v. Town of Colchester, 863 F.2d 205, 210 (2d Cir. 1988). Accordingly, the following facts are construed in a light most favorable to the plaintiffs.

 On February 16, 1995 at approximately 4:30 a.m., an anguished and distraught Vahidin Hot called the home of Vincenza Argese, a Monitor at Carmel High School. Until approximately 6 a.m. Hot discussed with Argese problems in his relationship with his girlfriend, Kathleen Conroy, whom he suspected of having had intimate relations with another student, Brian Flandreau. During this conversation Hot told Argese that he had considered killing Kathleen Conroy and Flandreau and then himself.

 After this conversation, Argese, believing that Hot might resort to violence, unsuccessfully called Carmel High School seeking assistance. She then called the home of the school's Assistant Principal, Steve Borrello, and told him about her conversation with Hot. At approximately 8 a.m. Borrello called the Putnam County Sheriff's Department and relayed the information he had received from Argese. Neither Argese nor Borrello attempted to contact Hot's parents.

 Sheriff's Department deputies Nicholas DePerno and James Bambino were dispatched to the Hot residence to locate Vahidin. Vahidin was not at home and his family did not know where he was. Hot's brother stated that Hot returned home at approximately 4 a.m. but then left. The deputies then returned to the Sheriff's Department, where Sergeant MacCrae telephoned John Conroy, Kathleen Conroy's father, to inform him that Hot had threatened his daughter's life. Deputies DePerno and Bambino were then dispatched to the Conroy residence in another attempt to locate Hot.

 At approximately 9 a.m. the Sheriff's Department was notified that a neighbor had seen Hot's unattended vehicle parked a quarter mile from the Conroy residence. Deputies DePerno and Bambino checked the vehicle and then went to the Conroy residence. When the deputies arrived at the house they spoke with John Conroy and conducted a limited search for Hot before returning to the vehicle. Thereafter, other members of the Sheriff's Department, including Investigator William Quick and Sergeant Douglas MacCrae, arrived at the location of Hot's car.

 While the officers remained at the car, Vahidin Hot approached the Conroy home wearing a bullet proof vest, brandishing a semi-automatic handgun, and carrying 26 rounds of ammunition. After entering the house, Hot demanded to speak with Kathleen and then pointed the gun at her father. While refusing to let Hot see Kathleen, Conroy, a retired police officer, backed Hot out of the house onto the front steps. Hot then fired a shot in the air. Regina Conroy, Kathleen's mother, quickly shut the front door, leaving Hot outside. Hot fired his gun at the door and at Kathleen's second floor bedroom window.

 Having heard shots, members of the Sheriff's Department returned to the Conroy residence, where they observed Hot in front of the house. After identifying themselves as police officers, one of them yelled for Hot to "drop the gun." Hot appeared undecided about what to do, and moved nervously back and forth. Hot then moved to the side of the house. Investigator Quick gave chase, while yelling for Hot to drop his gun.

 At the rear of the house, Quick observed Hot attempting to enter through a rear door. When Quick yelled for Hot to drop the gun, Hot turned toward him and pointed the gun in Quick's direction. Quick fired one shot at Hot, which missed. Hot then discharged his gun into the rear door of the house. At that point Quick fired a series of shots at ...


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