CAMDEN – A federal judge has ruled a Glassboro man can pursue a civil rights lawsuit against two police officers who allegedly used excessive force during an arrest.
Kameron Teel, a former Glassboro High School soccer star, contends he was the victim of a police assault after being stopped while taking his bike through New Street Park on the night of June 24, 2016.
Teel alleges Glassboro police Sgt. Daniel Eliasen “climbed on top of him, choked him, sprayed him with pepper spray and handcuffed him,” Kugler’s ruling noted.
The suit contends a second officer, Domenic Visceglia, threatened to unleash a K-9 on Teel, who was then 26.
It also says either Eliasen or Visceglia “slammed (Teel’s) head into the police vehicle multiple times,” the judge noted in the decision issued Friday.
Teel was accused of resisting arrest and other offenses, but the charges were dismissed a month later.
Teel, who worked as a substitute teacher, sued the borough, Eliasen and several unnamed officers in April 2017.
He amended his complaint in January of this year to name Visceglia and other officers.
Kugler’s ruling accepted the borough’s argument that Teel had failed to file a required tort claim notice before amending his lawsuit. The judge said that lapse barred Teel from pursuing state claims.
But Kugler said Teel could argue that Eliasen and Visceglia violated his constitutional rights by failing to intervene to stop his alleged mistreatment in the park.
That claim isn’t subject to a state law that requires tort notices in advance of lawsuits against public entities, the judge noted.
Teel’s attorney, David Wesley Cornish of Philadelphia, said his client could also pursue federal counts that include malicious prosecution, false arrest, excessive force and failure to intervene.
“We’re very pleased with the court’s ruling,” Cornish said Wednesday.
“Mr Teel feels very strongly that these officers’ actions were unconstitutional and he looks forward to having his day in court,” the attorney said.
A lawyer for the officers could not be reached for comment.
“Judge: Glassboro man can sue over alleged police misconduct”, https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2018/10/29/kameron-teel-sues-glassboro-police-officers-eliasen-visceglia/1807993002/