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Town of Auburn, officer seek to have suit dismissed

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

September 25. 2017 9:07PM
The booking photo of Bruce Rolfe after he was arrested last year by the Auburn Police Department. The case was eventually dropped and he is now suing the town and a police officer who made the arrest. (Auburn Police Department)

MUZAFER AKU

AUBURN — The town of Auburn and one of its police officers have asked a judge to toss a lawsuit filed by a local resident who claims he was wrongly accused of assaulting his son.

Lawyers for the town and Officer Muzafer Aku have filed court documents asking a Rockingham County Superior Court judge to dismiss Bruce Rolfe’s suit brought in July alleging malicious prosecution and false arrest.

“No bad faith, ill will or malice was ever a part of any of the decision making,” the town maintains in its response to the suit filed by attorney Charles Bauer.

In his suit, Rolfe claims he had a good relationship with police until the early 2000s when he had a falling out with Chief Ed Picard. Rolfe maintains their relationship “became worse after 2013 when Picard and his police department were involved in highly publicized and personal disputes” with Michael Dross and one of his subcontractors, John Rolfe, who is Bruce Rolfe’s father. He has alleged that the Rolfes were “viewed by the Auburn Police Department and Picard as being aligned with Dross and, therefore, an enemy.”

Dross had been accused of illegal dumping at the closed landfill, but was found not guilty of felony criminal mischief and a misdemeanor littering charge by a Rockingham County Superior Court jury in 2016.

Bruce Rolfe’s suit stemmed from his arrest following a domestic dispute with his son on Sept. 27, 2016.

Bruce Rolfe claimed he acted in self-defense during the altercation after his son trespassed on his property, but was later charged with domestic simple assault; his son wasn’t charged.

The charges were later dismissed by the court because John Rolfe’s son didn’t show up for the trial, the suit said.

Aku and the town deny the Rolfes were viewed by Auburn police and Picard as being aligned with Dross and therefore considered an enemy.

In their response, the town and Aku argue that he “reasonably believed at the time of the arrest that plaintiff was the primary/predominant physical aggressor in the altercation …”

They also insist that the prosecutor made a “reasonable and good faith prosecutorial decision to file and prosecute criminal charges against plaintiff.”

Bruce Rolfe has also claimed that as they walked out of the courtroom after the case was dismissed Aku “loudly commented toward Rolfe, ‘Don’t worry buddy, I’ll get you next time.’”

In its response to the suit, the town claims Rolfe smirked at Aku as he was leaving the courtroom and that Aku “smiled back and said words to the effect of those alleged. Officer Aku apologies for the off-hand response.”

jschreiber@newstote.com


Courts Auburn


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