United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION DENYING DEFENDANTS'
MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [DKT. NOS. 63, 65]
VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Rene Chalco brings this action against City of Danbury police
officers Christopher Belair, Robert Madore, Ryan Howley, and
Andrew Katkocin (collectively, “Defendants”).
Chalco alleges, inter alia, that Belair used
excessive force under color of law during a traffic stop, and
that all of the Defendants were deliberately indifferent to
his medical needs, in violation of the United States
Constitution. [See Dkt. No. 24]. Defendants moved
for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56. [Dkt. Nos. 63, 65]. For the reasons that
follow, the Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment are
The Record on Summary Judgment
party asserting that a fact . . . is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of
materials in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations, admissions, interrogatory
answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). A
party may also support their assertion by “showing that
the materials cited do not establish the absence . . . of a
genuine dispute.” Id. Cited documents must
consist of either “(1) the affidavit of a witness
competent to testify as to the facts at trial and/or (2)
evidence that would be admissible at trial.” Local R.
Civ. P. 56(a)3; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(4).
Court need not consider any materials that the parties have
failed to cite in their Rule 56(a) Statements of Fact, but
may in its discretion consider other materials in the record.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3). If a party fails to properly support
an assertion of fact, or fails to properly address another
party's assertion of fact, the Court may “consider
the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion [and] grant
summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials -
including the facts considered undisputed - show that the
movant is entitled to it.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); see
also Local R. 56(a)3 (“[F]ailure to provide
specific citations to evidence in the record as required by
this Local Rule may result in the Court deeming certain facts
that are supported by the evidence admitted in accordance
with [Local] Rule 56(a)1 or in the Court imposing sanctions,
including . . . an order granting the motion if the
undisputed facts show that the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.”). Because Plaintiff did not file a
Rule 56(a) statement until after the deadline to do so had
elapsed [See Dkt. Nos. 71, 78], the Court is not
obligated to consider any of the facts Plaintiff asserts in
his Rule 56(a) statement. However, the Court has nevertheless
considered facts asserted in Plaintiff's Opposition where
they are supported by timely-filed evidence elsewhere in the
evening of March 7, 2013 at approximately 11:00 p.m., Chalco
drove to a Danbury bar, where he consumed three beers and
three cocktails over the course of two hours. [Chalco Dep. at
21-22, 25]. Chalco left the bar at around 1:00 a.m. and
proceeded to drive home. Id. at 27. At the time,
Chalco did not have a driver's license, and had never
been licensed to drive. Id. at 23. On his way home,
he approached a stop sign, applied his brakes, but began to
skid on the icy street and proceeded through the stop sign
without stopping. Id. at 30. Officer Madore then
initiated a motor vehicle stop. [Dkt. 63-5 (“Madore
Aff.”) ¶ 6].
prior to the stop, Officer Madore was operating his police
cruiser alone, and was being followed in a second cruiser by
Officers Katkocin and Howley. [Madore Aff. ¶ 5]. When
Madore stopped Chalco, Katkocin pulled in behind Madore's
cruiser. [Dkt. 63-6 (“Katkocin Aff.”) ¶ 6].
Officer Belair, who was nearby, heard on the radio that
Madore was conducting a traffic stop, and arrived at the
scene shortly thereafter. [Dkt. 65-4 (“Belair
Aff.”) ¶¶ 5-6]. Belair approached Chalco and
Madore while they were speaking outside of Chalco's car.
Id. ¶ 8. Belair remained with Chalco while
Madore returned to his police cruiser to write Chalco a
ticket for failing to obey a stop sign and for driving
without a license. [Madore Aff. ¶¶ 7-8; Belair Aff.
parties have submitted audio and video recordings of the
stop. Officer Howley made an iPhone audio-recording of the
incident, which was synced to a cruiser dashboard camera
(“ICOP”) video during an internal affairs
recording, Belair states:
“You got here somehow. Then walk back home. Take a
fucking bus. Take that car once you get it out. I don't
care. But stop being in this country and almost fucking
killing people because you're too fucking stupid to call
a ride. Honestly if there wasn't four other cops here . .
. if there wasn't four other cops I'd beat the shit
out of you right now . . . . It's an asshole like you
that killed my uncle because he was fucking drunk driving,
right? Some douchebag like you that decided to drink too much
and go out in the middle of a fucking snowstorm when you
shouldn't even have been driving anyway. But that's
alright. You don't even give a shit about other
people's families do you? . . . . You're a piece of
[Dkt. 75, Exh. 2 (“ICOP Video”)]. An officer then
stands in front of Chalco, blocking him from the camera's
view, and Belair states, “Now you want to cry? Now you
want to cry?” Id. Chalco then appears to hold
his hand to his face. Id. During this exchange,
Chalco repeatedly apologizes to Belair. Id.
maintains that Belair punched him in the mouth, which caused
extreme pain and bleeding to his mouth and lips. [Chalco Dep.
at 50, 52, 57]. Chalco testified that he swallowed the blood
while he was speaking with the officers, but once he began
walking home, he could no longer do so and blood dripped out
of his mouth onto his coat. Id. at 59. Photographs
of Mr. Chalco's coat show stains that are visually
consistent with dripping blood. [Dkt. 75, Exh. 4]. However,
forensic testing of these stains did not detect blood. [Dkt.
65-7 (“Marcus Tr.”) at 151-54]. While the
Defendants submitted affidavits swearing that they did not
observe Belair punching Chalco and that they noticed no
injury to Chalco's lip, Chalco's brother, two
co-workers, and an acquaintance testified that they observed
Chalco's swollen lip in March 2013. [Dkt. 75-5 (“J.
Chalco Tr.”) at 63, 66; Dkt. 75-6 (“Gallagher