A Slippery Rock resident whose brutal arrest in April by a New Castle police officer was captured on video and went viral online has filed a civil complaint in federal court against the city of New Castle and the two officers involved.
Perry Lawry, 49, filed the complaint Thursday morning, according to his Butler-based attorney, Al Lindsay.
A copy of the complaint, provided by Linsday, names New Castle Police Patrolman Ronald Williams and Patrolman Peter Mendincino as defendants. In the court filing, Lawry alleges that Williams and Mendincino violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights on April 23, when they were dispatched to an apartment on East Washington Street in New Castle for a disturbance.
The complaint also accuses Williams and Mendincino of conspiracy, false arrest and imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The document also accuses Williams of assault and battery, after he allegedly slammed Lawry's head into the ground several times during a domestic disturbance call.
In arresting documents filed in Lawrence County, Williams says he arrived at the apartment to find Mendincino wrestling with Lawry, who was allegedly trying to crawl toward a counter with two knives laying on it.
Williams, in court documents, says he stunned Lawry three times with a Taser, to no effect, at which point he grabbed Lawry by the shoulders and “gave him three thrusts shoving his chest and head into the floor until he stop (sic) resisting ...”
A portion of the incident was captured on a cell phone video by a juvenile resident of the apartment and subsequently went viral after being posted online. It appears to show Williams slamming Lawry face-first into the floor several times, after which Lawry, who police say was “very intoxicated,” stops moving.
The video's posting resulted in Williams, a 10-year veteran of the department, being placed on leave and the department conducting an internal investigation. Williams was fired earlier this month and the department turned the case over to the Lawrence County District Attorney's Office.
In the court filing Thursday, Lawry demands a jury trial, and claims that he suffered “physical and emotional injuries, and other damages and losses entitling him to compensatory and special damages.”
A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.