United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
W. EGINTON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
alleges that defendant deprived him of his right to be free
from unreasonable force in violation of the Fourth Amendment
to the United States Constitution when defendant handcuffed
plaintiff incident to arrest on February 11, 2014. Defendant
has moved for summary judgment. For the following reasons,
defendant's motion will be granted.
following facts are gleaned from the parties' statements
of fact, affidavits, deposition transcripts, and other
February 11, 2014, plaintiff resided at 43 Asnuntuck Street,
apartment # 3, in Enfield, Connecticut, with his partner,
Alverna Heath, their two minor children, and a roommate,
date, at approximately 9:00 p.m., defendant, an officer of
the Enfield Police Department, responded to plaintiff's
residence in connection with an emergency medical assistance
call for Ms. Heath. Upon his arrival, defendant observed that
members of the Enfield EMS were already assisting Ms. Heath,
who at the time was located in a bedroom shared by Ms. Heath
entered the bedroom and observed two handguns located on a
shelf. Upon examination, defendant discovered that both
handguns were loaded and one had a seventeen (17) round
magazine inserted into the magazine well. Ms. Heath told
defendant that the two handguns belonged to plaintiff.
Defendant also learned that the two children residing at the
house frequently entered the bedroom to watch television. The
locking mechanism on the bedroom door was broken, so the room
could not be secured.
after Ms. Heath had been transported to a hospital by the EMS
and before defendant was able to complete his investigation,
plaintiff arrived at his residence.
admitted ownership of the handguns and acknowledged that the
guns were registered but that the high capacity magazine was
consultation with his supervisor, Sgt. Marianne Christensen,
defendant determined that there was probable cause to arrest
the plaintiff on charges of two counts of risk of injury to a
minor in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §
53-21; two counts of reckless endangerment in the second
degree in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §
53a-64; and possession of a large capacity magazine in
violation of Public Act No. 13-220.
explained the violations to plaintiff and placed him under
arrest. Plaintiff was cooperative during the arrest and
voluntarily placed his hands behind his back in order to be
to plaintiff, once he was handcuffed, his hands were resting
behind his back at a height approximately on top of his
buttocks. Plaintiff asserts that despite notifying defendant
of his recent shoulder surgery, defendant raised
plaintiff's arms by several inches in order to adjust and
double lock the cuffs, causing pain and injury to
plaintiff's right shoulder.
locking the handcuffs is a standard handcuffing technique
that prevents the handcuffs from tightening further,
preventing potential nerve damage or loss of circulation.
During and after the time that he was handcuffed, plaintiff
never complained of discomfort or pain. Throughout the
encounter, defendant was polite and courteous with plaintiff.
Aside from the actual act of handcuffing, defendant had no
other physical contact with plaintiff.
graduated from the Connecticut Police Academy in 2008, where
he was educated as to proper handcuffing technique, and he