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Seabrook seeks dismissal of handwritten $500m lawsuit alleging police brutality

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

December 01. 2017 9:34AM

In this image taken from video, Officer Mark Richardson is seen throwing Michael J. Bergeron Jr. against a wall while he was being booked after his arrest on Nov. 11, 2009. 

BRENTWOOD — The town of Seabrook has asked a judge to dismiss a handwritten lawsuit filed by a man who was slammed into a wall by an ex-officer while in custody at the Seabrook police station and now wants $500 million in damages.

According to newly filed court documents, the town denies liability and any negligence or wrongdoing in the operation or supervision of the Seabrook Police Department.

Michael Bergeron Jr., 26, filed suit in Rockingham County Superior Court in September claiming the town was negligent because of the actions of Mark Richardson, who pleaded guilty to simple assault by an on-duty law enforcement officer in 2015.

Richardson pushed Bergeron, who was 19 at the time, head-first into the wall while he was being brought to a holding cell after his arrest on drunken driving and marijuana possession charges. The police station’s security cameras caught the incident and also showed former Seabrook officer Adam Laurent pepper-spraying Bergeron after he fell to the floor.

Richardson and Laurent were fired from their jobs. Another officer, Keith Dietenhofer, was suspended for two days while Lt. John Wasson was demoted.

Richardson was also charged with simple assault and after a mistrial pleaded guilty and spent 21 days in jail.

The case was investigated after Bergeron received a video of the incident through a lawyer and posted it on YouTube in 2014. The town also hired a firm to conduct an internal investigation.

Bergeron is now seeking damages for “permanent brain damage, mental and physical anguish, medical bills, loss of work, threatening and criminal actions,” the suit said.

In its response to the suit, the town points out that the complaint was handwritten, “illegible at times,” and doesn’t assert any factual allegations via numbered paragraphs.

“Further, the majority of the complaint constitutes argument and/or legal conclusions which the town is not required to respond to, or asserts facts which the town can neither confirm nor deny,” the town said in its response filed through its attorney, Robert Ciandella.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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