A family – son, father, and mother – have filed a lawsuit alleging Paterson police officers attacked them in their home last summer.
Humberto Guzman, Elba Gonzalez, and Alberto Guzman filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing police of using excessive force and violating their constitutional rights.
Incident that triggered the lawsuit took place on Aug. 26, 2019. Alberto Guzman was in front of his house eating a sandwich. A police officer, driving by, stopped and questioned him. The officer, Hommy Cruz, allegedly told Alberto Guzman, the son, to go inside his house, according to the lawsuit.
Alberto Guzman obliged. He entered the gated front porch of his house and went upstairs to his front door, says the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the police officer entered the gated area, went upstairs, and grabbed him by the head, and pushed him against the wall. The officer then used pepper spray on him, causing him to choke.
The lawsuit states the officer allegedly threw Alberto Guzman on the ground and began to assault him. Alberto Guzman began to yell for his mother and father, says the lawsuit. Humberto Guzman, the father, and Elba Gonzalez, the mother, allegedly saw the officer on top of their son, striking him, in front of their door.
Humberto Guzman told the officer to stop. Without warning, the officer allegedly struck the father in the head with a flashlight, causing him to bleed profusely. The suit alleges the officers then went inside the family’s home and assaulted the father and mother. Both were thrown into a wall and slammed to the ground.
The lawsuit said all three family members “suffered significant physical and emotional injuries.” Humberto Guzman suffered “permanent disfigurement in his face,” says the lawsuit. All three were “falsely” arrested and charged, says the lawsuit.
The charges were later dismissed.
The lawsuit names the city and officers Cruz, Yamil Pimienta, and Alberto Sanabria. Each officer is sued individually and in their official capacity. It also names other unknown officers.
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
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