United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
A. Bolden United States District Judge
Travis Anderson, brings this case against Defendants, the
Waterbury Police Department (“Waterbury PD”),
Waterbury Police Department Officers Martin Scanlon and Lee
Gilbert (collectively, the “Waterbury
Defendants”), and former Waterbury police officer Ryan
Cubbells. ECF No. 45. Anderson brings claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (“Section 1983”), alleging that the
individual Defendants subjected him to unreasonable search
and seizure and excessive force in violation of the Fourth
Amendment, and that Waterbury PD is also liable for these
violations by the individual Defendants, due to a failure to
properly train and supervise them. Anderson also alleges that
Cubbells is liable for the intentional infliction of
emotional distress under Connecticut state law. Defendant
Cubbells has filed a motion for summary judgment on all
claims, ECF No. 47, as have the other Defendants, ECF No. 48.
reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in
part the Defendants' motions for summary judgment.
Specifically, the Court grants summary judgment as to Count
One, alleging unreasonable search and seizure and as to Count
Three, alleging that the City of Waterbury and/or the
Waterbury PD are liable because of policies or customs
exhibiting deliberate indifference to constitutional rights,
in part because Anderson concedes these arguments. Defendant
Waterbury PD is, therefore, terminated from this case. The
Court denies summary judgment as to Count Two, as to
Anderson's claim against Cubbells regarding the December
23, 2013 post-arrest search; as to Anderson's claim that
Cubbells struck him on November 3, 2013 and struck him and
slammed him against the police vehicle on December 23, 2013;
and as to Gilbert and Scanlon's failure to intervene
claims in relation to these incidents. The Court also denies
summary judgment as to Count Four, Anderson's claim that
Cubbells is liable for intentional infliction of emotional
distress, as Defendants' motions for summary judgment
fail to discuss this claim.
is a resident of the state of Connecticut. Second Amend.
Compl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 45. Cubbells, Gilbert, and Scanlon
were, at all times relevant to this case, police officers
employed by the City of Waterbury. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement
¶¶ 2-4, ECF No. 47-2.
either October 3, 2013 or October 6, 2013, Anderson testifies
that he encountered Cubbells on one occasion. Anderson Dep.
23:23-25, 26:20-24, 27:14-20, Def.'s Ex. D, ECF No. 47-6.
He testifies that it was sometime between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00
p.m. Anderson Dep. 27:18-20, Def.'s Ex. D. Anderson had
alleged that Cubbells approached him while he was in front of
his apartment building in Waterbury, Connecticut, and that
Cubbells had verbally harassed him and threatened to one day
soon catch Anderson and get him. Second Amend. Compl.
¶¶ 8-9. Anderson further alleges that, during this
first encounter with Cubbells, Cubbells referred to him and a
“Puerto Rican” woman as “you people.”
Anderson Dep. 20:22-23-4, ECF No. 47-6. Cubbells disputes
these fact and claims he had never encountered Anderson
before November 3, 2013. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 7;
Cubbells Aff. ¶ 15, Def.'s Ex. A, ECF No. 47-3. The
parties do not dispute that no one searched nor arrested
Anderson during this alleged first encounter with Cubbells.
Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 6.
November 3, 2013
November 3, 2013, around midnight, Cubbells and Gilbert were
patrolling the area of West Main Street near Sperry Street in
Waterbury. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 8. The parties
dispute whether Cubbells and Gilbert first encountered a
Subaru driven by Anderson while they were driving behind him
or when they were driving in the opposite direction from him.
See Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶¶ 9-11,
Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶¶ 9-11, ECF No.
54-1. According to Defendants, Cubbells and Gilbert were
driving in the opposite direction from Anderson, so they
needed to execute a U-turn to follow Anderson's vehicle
in their police vehicle. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶
12. At the time of the November 3, 2013 encounter, Anderson
testifies that he was driving a Subaru that belonged to
Anderson, though a friend, Lindsay Boylan, registered and
insured the vehicle in her name on his behalf. Anderson Dep.
27:21-28:14, Def.'s Ex. D.
and Gilbert testify that Anderson's vehicle then made a
left turn without activating the left turn signal, which
Anderson disputes. Cubbells Aff. ¶ 6. Anderson testifies
that he activated his turn signal before turning left.
Anderson Dep. 37:6-8, Def.'s Ex. D. Cubbells and Gilbert
also testify that they observed the driver of the Subaru
drinking from a silver and blue can that they believed to be
a can of beer. Cubbells Aff ¶ 4; Gilbert Aff. ¶ 4,
Def.'s Ex. B, ECF No. 47-4. Anderson disputes this fact,
testifying that, while there was a can of Natural Ice beer in
the car, neither he nor the passenger in the car, Colina
Andrews, was drinking from it. Anderson Dep. 31:16-32:8,
Def.'s Ex. D. Anderson testifies that the can of beer in
the car was closed. Id. 32:6-8. The parties agree
that the can of beer was in a cupholder above the radio, on
or around the dashboard. Id. 39:22-41:12; Cubbells
Rule 56 Statement ¶ 18.
and Gilbert testify that they stopped Anderson's vehicle
because they observed the driver drinking from what they
believed to be a can of beer and because the vehicle did not
activate its left turn signal. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement
¶ 13. After Anderson's Subaru made the left turn,
Cubbells activated the lights and siren on the police
vehicle, and the Subaru pulled over in response. Id.
¶¶ 14-15. Cubbells approached the driver's side
of the vehicle and Gilbert approached the passenger side.
Id. ¶ 16. The parties dispute whether Cubbells
and Gilbert could have detected the smell of fresh marijuana
coming from the car. Id. ¶ 17; Anderson Aff.
¶¶ 13-14, Pl.'s Ex. B, ECF No. 54-4. Anderson
testifies that no one had smoked marijuana in the Subaru that
evening and that the vehicle did not smell like marijuana.
Anderson Aff. ¶¶ 13-14. Anderson admits that there
was marijuana in the car, in a book bag in the backseat.
Anderson Dep. 48:11-14, Def.'s Ex. D.
Conversation Between Cubbells and Anderson
parties dispute what happened after Cubbells approached the
driver's side of the vehicle and Gilbert approached the
passenger side. See Cubbells Rule 56 Statement
¶¶ 19-26; Anderson First Rule 56 Statement
¶¶ 19-26. Cubbells testifies that he requested
Anderson's license, registration, and insurance
information when he reached the driver's side window.
Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 19. According to Cubbells,
Anderson seemed agitated and asked why the officers had
stopped him. Id. ¶ 20. Cubbells then explained
to Anderson why he was stopped. Id. ¶ 22.
Cubbells testifies that Anderson did not comply with his
order that Anderson should keep his hands visible and in
front of him, and that Anderson instead kept touching an area
near his right pants pocket and the right side of his
waistband. Id. ¶¶ 23-24. Cubbells
testifies that, once back up arrived, he asked Anderson to
step out of his vehicle. Id. ¶ 25. Anderson
disputes all of these facts. Anderson First Rule 56 Statement
instead testifies that Cubbells immediately ordered him to
exit the vehicle, without even asking for his license and
registration and before any back up came. Id.
¶¶ 19, 25. He testifies that he was not agitated
but that he did ask Cubbells why Cubbells wanted him to step
out of the vehicle, but that Cubbells never answered his
question. Id. ¶ 20. He further testifies that
he kept his hands in front of him on the steering wheel and
visible to Cubbells at all times, without making any
movements to touch the area near his right pants pocket and
the right side of his waistband. Id. ¶¶
Arrest and Search
parties also dispute what happened after Cubbells asked
Anderson to step out of the Subaru. Cubbells testifies that
Anderson did not comply with the order and instead reached
both his hands towards the right side of his body, out of
Cubbells's view. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 26;
see also Anderson Dep. 160:7-13, Def.'s Ex. E,
ECF No. 47-7 (describing Anderson reaching for his license
and registration in glove compartment). The parties do not
dispute that Cubbells then reached into the Subaru, grabbed
both of Anderson's hands, and held onto Anderson's
hands until Officer Shea could assist him in removing Anderson
from his vehicle. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 27;
Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶ 27. Cubbells
testifies that once he and Officer Shea removed Anderson from
the vehicle, they gave Anderson several verbal commands to
put his hands behind his back and stop resisting, which
Anderson ignored. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 28. The
parties do not dispute that Officer Shea and Cubbells
eventually handcuffed Anderson. Id. ¶ 29;
Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶ 29.
disputes that, after Cubbells ordered him to step out of the
Subaru, he reached with his hands towards the right side of
his body and out of Cubbells's view or made any such
motion. Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶ 26; see
also Anderson Dep. 44:24-45:1, Def.'s Ex. D.
Anderson also disputes that he failed to comply with
Cubbells's and Officer Shea's orders to put his hands
behind his back and stop resisting, he instead testifies that
he did not resist. Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶
parties further dispute what occurred after Cubbells and
Officer Shea handcuffed Anderson. Cubbells testifies that,
during the search of Anderson's person, the officers
found a loaded .38 Taurus special revolver in Anderson's
right pants pocket, but Anderson testifies that the firearm
was actually under the seat in the Subaru. Cubbells Rule 56
Statement ¶ 30; Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶
30. The parties do not dispute that Anderson did not have a
permit for the firearm. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 31.
Cubbells also testifies that, during the search of
Anderson's person, the officers found “several
knotted plastic bags containing a green leafy substance, a
white crystal substance, and numerous clear capsules
containing a white substance” in his front shirt
pocket. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 32. Anderson
disputes this and testifies that the only drugs that were on
his person in the front shirt pocket were four or five
capsules of Molly. Anderson Dep. 44:7-19, Def.'s Ex. D.
Cubbells testifies that the officers also found a razor blade
and $91.00 in cash in Anderson's left rear pocket, which
Anderson disputes and states that the items were also in his
front shirt pocket. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 33;
Anderson First Rule 56 Statement ¶ 33.
Alleged Use of Force
testifies that, after he was handcuffed by one of the
officers, they put him on the ground and had him sit on the
curb towards the rear of the Subaru, while the officers
searched the car. Anderson Dep. 47:1-23, Def.'s Ex. D.
Anderson testifies that he complained that the handcuffs were
too tight, which caused Cubbells to come around, pick him up,
and hand him to Gilbert so that Gilbert could watch him and
make sure he did not run away while the officers searched the
car. Id. 48:19-49:3.
testifies that, as Cubbells was loosening the handcuffs,
Cubbells also struck Anderson four times in his right rib
cage with an object that may have been a baton or a small
flashlight. Anderson Dep. 49:4-10, Def.'s Ex. D. Anderson
testifies that, as Cubbells was hitting him, Cubbells said
“you want to have a fucking gun, huh, ” and while
Anderson was whimpering about the pain in his ribs, Cubbells
continued, “stop being a bitch, take it like a
man.” Id. Anderson testifies that when he was
struck with the metal object four times, he cried out in
pain, “like an ow, ow, ow, ow sound.”
Id. 52:21-23. Anderson testifies that after this,
Cubbells did loosen the cuffs and put Anderson back on the
curb and that, a minute later, he was placed in Officer
Shea's vehicle. Id. 49:10-12. Anderson also
testifies that, while Cubbells was hitting him in the ribs,
Gilbert was standing next to Anderson and holding
Anderson's arms. Id. 49:19-22. Defendants deny
that Cubbells struck Anderson on November 3, 2013. Cubbells
Rule 56 Statement ¶ 77.
testifies that, after Cubbells struck him in the ribs with a
metal object, he remained in “gut wrenching” pain
that “took [his] breath away” and that he was
crying. Anderson Dep. 50:1-3, 54:15-21, Def.'s Ex. D.
Anderson testifies, that during the booking process at the
police station, he complained of pain and asked to go to the
hospital, but the booking officer said “[a]fter I
process you, ” and Anderson was not sent to the
hospital. Id. 54:22-55:7.
the November 3, 2013 arrest, Anderson was first seen by a
medical professional on November 4, 2013 at the University of
Connecticut Health Center for Correctional Managed Health
Care (“UConn”). Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶
81. Anderson admits in his Rule 56 Statement that the record
of the November 4, 2013 visit to UConn did not refer to any
pain in Anderson's ribs at the time of the visit.
Id. ¶ 82; Anderson First Rule 56 Statement
¶ 82. Anderson testifies that on November 6, 2013, he
had another visit at UConn and the record did reflect that he
had a complaint of rib pain at that time. Anderson Dep.
58:18-24, Def.'s Ex. D. Anderson testifies that the sole
reason for this visit was the pain in his ribs, that the
staff at UConn recommended x-rays, that the x-rays were done
and showed no fractures, and that he also complained of wrist
pain from the handcuffs during this visit. Id.
parties do not dispute that the report from the x-ray of
Anderson taken on November 8, 2013 indicated that there were
no fractures or signs of trauma to the right hemithorax or
ribs. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶¶ 84-85. There is
no dispute that, while Anderson has testified that there was
bruising of his ribs, there is no notation of that in the
medical records. Id. ¶ 86. There is also no
dispute that there is no report of Anderson's wrist pain
in the medical records, though there is a record of
Anderson's complaint that there was numbness from the
handcuffs. Id. ¶ 88-89. Anderson also does not
dispute that he did not seek further treatment for his ribs
or his wrists after he was released from jail on November 10,
2013 Id. ¶¶ 90-91.
parties also do not dispute the following facts. The officers
took Anderson into custody and the contents of the Subaru
were itemized. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 34. Anderson
was not the owner of the 1998 Subaru and it was not
registered in his name, instead Ms. Boylan was the owner of
record and the Subaru was registered in her name.
Id. ¶¶ 35-37. Anderson was arrested and
charged with: criminal possession of a pistol or revolver,
carrying a pistol/revolver without a permit, possession of
narcotics with intent to sell, illegal possession near a
school, drinking while operating a motor vehicle, restricted
turns - failure to give proper signal and interfering with an
officer. Id. ¶ 38.
December 23, 2013
December 23, 2013, at approximately 5:38 PM, Cubbells and
Scanlon were on patrol together. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement
¶ 39. At this time, the officers were in a marked police
vehicle on Willow Street, which Scanlon was driving, with
Cubbells as a passenger. Id. ¶ 40. While the
police vehicle was traveling on Willow Street, a Subaru was
traveling in front of the police vehicle, which Anderson was
driving. Id. ¶¶ 41, 47. Anderson does not
dispute these facts. Anderson First Rule 56 Statement
¶¶ 39-41, 47.
parties dispute what happened next. Cubbells testifies that
the Subaru abruptly turned towards the right side of the road
without activating the turn signal, that it stopped on the
side of the road with a portion of the car blocking traffic,
and that the Subaru then abruptly pulled back into traffic in
front of the police vehicle. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement
¶ 42. Cubbells testifies that, based off the erratic
movements of the Subaru, the officers decided to execute a
motor vehicle stop and turned on the emergency lights and
siren. Id. ¶ 43. Anderson testifies that he
made no such erratic movements in the Subaru and that he
signaled before re-entering traffic. Anderson First Rule 56
Statement ¶¶ 42-43. The parties agree that the
Subaru did not immediately stop and continued south on Willow
Street at a steady speed. Id. ¶ 44; Cubbells
Rule 56 Statement ¶ 44.
parties dispute what occurred before the Subaru stopped.
Cubbells testified that the Subaru stopped at a red light and
then drove through it, that the Subaru then passed several
cars on the right, and that the Subaru drove through another
red light. Cubbells Rule 56 Statement ¶ 45. Cubbells
also testified that the driver of the Subaru was observed
emptying the contents of a bag into his mouth and making
several movements to his mouth with a cupped right hand.
Id. ¶ 46. Cubbells further testifies that ...