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Worthy v. City of Buffalo

United States District Court, Second Circuit

October 9, 2013

MARCUS A. WORTHY, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF BUFFALO, et al., Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

H. KENNETH SCHROEDER, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

This case was referred to the undersigned by the Hon. Richard J. Arcara, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), for all pretrial matters and to hear and report upon dispositive motions. Dkt. #6.

Plaintiff, Marcus A. Worthy, commenced this action alleging that his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983 were violated by reason of the defendants' actions. Specifically, as against defendants Corey Krug, William Macy, Thomas Herbert, Joseph Paskiewicz, Melinda Jones and Brian Strobele, plaintiff asserts claims under Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983 for excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution and malicious abuse of process. As against defendant City of Buffalo, plaintiff asserts a single claim for municipal liability under Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983 and Monell v. New York Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). Presently pending is plaintiff's motion to compel the disclosure of "defendants' disciplinary and complaint (both substantiated and unsubstantiated) histories of excessive force or false reporting as Buffalo Police Officers for the past ten years." Dkt. #23.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Marcus A. Worthy, alleges that on August 29, 2010 at approximately 10:30 p.m., he was standing and speaking with an acquaintance on private property, the porch outside 52 Langmeyer Street, Buffalo, New York. Dkt. #1, ¶ 10. At the time, plaintiff alleges that he was a security-guard trainee in possession of a valid pistol permit, had just completed a firearms training course and was wearing his licensed firearm in its holster. Id. at ¶ 11. The complaint alleges, upon information and belief, that the City of Buffalo Police Department had just received a call earlier that evening concerning a domestic dispute at a nearby location where an individual had brandished a sword. Id. at ¶ 12. At approximately 10:40 p.m., defendants Krug, Macy, Herbert, Paskiewicz and Jones arrived at 52 Langmeyer Street and began to run towards plaintiff with guns drawn. Id. at ¶¶ 13 and 14. Thereafter, the complaint alleges,

15. Plaintiff heard those Defendants shout something, but before he could decipher what they were saying, those Defendants struck Plaintiff in the back, causing him to fall forward. Defendants then seized Plaintiff's arms and head, held down Plaintiff's head, and cuffed Plaintiff's hands behind his back.
16. At this point, Defendants realized that Plaintiff had a gun. Plaintiff attempted to lift his head to speak to Defendants, and stated that he had a permit for the gun in his car, which was parked on the street in front of the house.
17. In response, Defendant Krug beat Plaintiff in the back of the head with Defendant Krug's police department-issued metal flashlight.
18. Defendant Krug administered several blows with his metal flashlight, causing severe swelling and bleeding to Plaintiff's head and causing Plaintiff to feel dizzy. Plaintiff was handcuffed behind his back at the time each such blow was administered.
19. After Plaintiff fell over the back of the police car [sic] under the force of the blows administered by Defendant Krug with his metal flashlight, Defendant Herbert removed Plaintiff's firearm from its holster and seized it.
20. Defendants Krug, Herbert, Macy, and Paskiewicz then proceeded to walk Plaintiff to a police cruiser and deposit him in the back seat thereof.
21. During the aforementioned excessive use of force and unlawful arrest of Plaintiff, Defendant Jones looked on and silently approved.
22. After Plaintiff was deposited in the police cruiser, Defendants searched Plaintiff's car, locating a valid pistol permit, a valid license for the seized pistol, and documentation of Plaintiff's completion of firearms and other security guard training courses.

Dkt. #1, ¶¶ 15-22. Plaintiff's complaint further alleges that defendants Krug, Herbert, Macy, Paskiewicz and Jones conspired to cover up their unlawful use of force and arrest of plaintiff by bringing false criminal charges of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Ultimately, the six charges were presented to an Erie ...


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