United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RICHARD G. PAPE, administrator of The ESTATE OF DYLAN J. PAPE, Plaintiff,
CITY OF STAMFORD, CHRISTOPHER BAKER, and STEVEN PERROTTA, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
W. EGINTON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an excessive force action by plaintiff Richard G. Pape on
behalf of the decedent, Dylan J. Pape. Plaintiff alleges
excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment against
the individual defendant police officers and municipal
liability against the City of Stamford. Defendants have moved
for summary judgment. For the following reasons,
defendants' motion will be granted.
March 21, 2016, at 7:41 p.m., Dylan Pape called 9-1-1 from
his parents' residence, pretending to be his father. Pape
informed Stamford emergency dispatch that “his
son” had a gun and required police assistance.
force of police, including officers Baker and Perrotta,
responded to the scene, where they found Pape in his driveway
with a handgun. The pistol was later found to be a BB gun,
which Pape had purchased earlier that afternoon. During the
incident, the officers on the scene did not know that the gun
was a BB gun.
an hour-long confrontation, many officers ordered Pape to put
the gun down, but he refused to comply. Eventually, Pape, gun
in hand, abruptly began walking directly toward Baker. Baker
quickly looked around to determine if there was any other
place that he could go that would provide cover. He saw
officers behind him and knew Pape's parents were behind
him as well. The street was filled with police vehicles and
people. Pape began closing the distance between himself and
Baker, and Baker again yelled for Pape to put the gun down.
officer warned Pape that he would release a police K-9, but
Pape refused to surrender or otherwise change his conduct.
The officer then released the dog, which ran toward Pape. The
K-9 contacted Pape in the middle of the street as Pape was
quickly advancing toward Baker's position. Baker
continued to scream commands at Pape to drop the gun.
Notwithstanding, Pape continued moving into the street as the
K-9 grasped his leg. As the dog latched onto his leg, Pape
raised his right arm, gun in hand, pointing it in the
direction of the officers. Baker and Perrotta fired a total
of three shots, which struck and killed Pape.
motion for summary judgment will be granted where there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and it is clear that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
"Only when reasonable minds could not differ as to the
import of the evidence is summary judgment proper."
Bryant v. Maffucci, 923 F.2d 979, 982 (2d Cir.),
cert. denied, 502 U.S. 849 (1991).
burden is on the moving party to demonstrate the absence of
any material factual issue genuinely in dispute. American
International Group, Inc. v. London American International
Corp., 664 F.2d 348, 351 (2d Cir. 1981). In determining
whether a genuine factual issue exists, the court must
resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences
against the moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).
nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an
essential element of his case with respect to which he has
the burden of proof, then summary judgment is appropriate.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. If the nonmoving
party submits evidence which is "merely colorable,"
legally sufficient opposition to the motion for summary
judgment is not met. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249.
Force and Qualified Immunity
can be no question that apprehension by the use of deadly
force is a seizure subject to the reasonableness requirement
of the Fourth Amendment.” Tennessee v. Garner,
471 U.S. 1, 7 (1985).
claims that law enforcement officers have used excessive
force- deadly or not-in the course of an arrest,
investigatory stop, or other ‘seizure' of a free
citizen should be analyzed under the Fourth Amendment and its
‘reasonableness' standard, rather than under a