United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
W. EGINTON, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an action by plaintiff Giovanni Addona against defendants
Jared D'Andrea, Christopher Donston, and Chad Conroy,
alleging unreasonable force and failure to intervene in
violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States
have moved for summary judgment [ECF No. 35]. For the
following reasons, defendants' motion will be granted.
following facts are gleaned from the parties' statements
of fact, affidavits, deposition transcripts, and other
exhibit documentation, including a video of the encounter
captured from a police body camera worn by one of the
officers at the scene.
November 4, 2014, at 8:19 p.m., Sergeant Kurt Molnar and
Officers Jared D'Andrea, Chad Conroy, and Christopher
Donston of the Watertown Police Department were despatched to
283 Neill Drive, Watertown, Connecticut, in response to a
complaint received from the Western Connecticut Mental Health
officers received a report that plaintiff had called WCMHN
and made what was perceived to be a threat of assault with a
baseball bat to one of the WCMHN social workers.
arrival, Officer Donston activated his department issued body
camera. Defendants assert that the entire encounter between
the officers and plaintiff was video recorded. The Court
examined that video, which includes audio.
the officers rang the front door bell, plaintiff walked out
into the yard, where defendants explained the reason for
their presence. Plaintiff responded that he had called the
WCMHN that day to discuss his social security and disability
benefits. The officers informed plaintiff that the WCMHN
social workers were on their way to speak to him regarding
his phone call and the perceived threat, to which plaintiff
then proceeded toward the rear entry door, but the officers
ordered plaintiff to remain outside. Defendants contend that
plaintiff disobeyed their commands, but plaintiff testified
that he was “already not going” inside when he
was grabbed from behind.
video supports defendants' version to the extent that it
was unclear whether plaintiff would have obeyed
defendants' orders to remain outside absent physical
involvement by defendants.
assert that as plaintiff was attempting to reenter the house,
Officer Conroy grabbed plaintiff's right arm, and Officer
Donston grabbed plaintiff's left arm, in order to prevent
plaintiff from entering the residence. According to
defendants, the officers moved plaintiff to a nearby wall,
and other than a subsequent pat-down, the officers at the
scene had no other physical contact with plaintiff. The video
corroborates defendants' assertions, including the
absence of any high-impact collisions.
plaintiff maintains that he was needlessly smashed against a
brick wall and contends that he felt the bones in his neck
crack as his chest hit the bricks. Plaintiff denies that the
entire encounter was recorded. At deposition, plaintiff
It doesn't show - it doesn't really show - it
doesn't really show him pushing. It doesn't show the
pushing and slamming; you know what I mean? The way I hit ...