CAMDEN – A Glassboro man says he was assaulted by police and repeatedly bitten by a K-9 after he was stopped while riding a bike through a borough park.
Kameron Teel, a former high school soccer star, details his claims in a civil-rights lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, Camden.
Teel, then 26, was bicycling through New Street Park on the night of June 24, 2016, when an officer “emerged and yelled at (him) to get onto the ground,” the lawsuit alleges.
It claims Glassboro Police Sgt. Dan Eliason put his knee on Teel’s back, causing him pain and making it difficult to breathe.The suit alleges Teel was pepper-sprayed, handcuffed and led to a police vehicle, where his head was “slammed” repeatedly into the hood.
“Mr. Teel was also injured as he was bitten numerous times on his legs and hands (by a K-9),” the suit asserts. It contends Teel did not resist police and gave officers no probable cause to arrest him.
Photos of Teel’s alleged injuries were included as exhibits accompanying the lawsuit.
The suit names the borough, Eliason and several unidentified officers as defendants. An attorney for the borough could not be reached for comment.
“Mr. Teel is an outstanding member of the community,” said D. Wesley Cornish, a Philadelphia lawyer representing the Glassboro man. “What did he do to be treated like this?”
At the time of Teel’s arrest, the lawsuit says, police were seeking a suspect — described as “approximately a 13-year-old black male” — who had engaged in drug activity at the park.
“There’s no way he fits that description,” said Cornish. “His beard alone doesn’t fit that description.”
The lawsuit notes Teel’s body type is “extremely large and muscular as he was a scholarship soccer player for La Salle University, as well as a judo and soccer coach/trainer.”
Teel was a two-time All-State selection who set a record for goals scored at Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester City, according to biography information at La Salle’s website. He also played at Immaculata University.
The lawsuit says Teel, who worked as a substitute teacher, previously had no arrests. It says “all criminal claims” were dismissed at a municipal court hearing in July 2016.
The suit seeks damages of more than $150,000 for false arrest, excessive force and other violations of Teel’s civil rights.