False Arrest

Our client, a 38-year-old male attended a New Year’s Eve party. He went up to the rooftop of the three-story building to watch fireworks and make a phone call. Other people had been firing gunshots from the roof before he went up there, but he never saw anyone shoot weapons while he was on the roof. Police arrived at the scene during the early morning hours of January 1st. When the police entered the roof, only our client and another man were still on the rooftop. That person was an off-duty security guard who had his service weapon with him. The off-duty security guard tossed his gun into the corner of the rooftop while police ascended to the roof. When police arrived on the roof, they claimed our client had the gun and was crouched in the corner attempting to hide the weapon. Despite the fact that the off-duty security officer informed the police that the gun was his service weapon, they arrested our client for possession of a weapon by a felon. Our client and the off-duty security officer had never met before and did not know each other at the time of the arrest. At his criminal trial, our client denied he ever touched the gun, denied he was in the corner with the gun, and denied he was even able to crouch as police described because of his size (6’3″, 350 lbs). The off-duty security officer testified at the criminal trial that the gun was his and he never gave it to our client. Our client was found not guilty and released from custody after being held for ten months since his arrest. The arresting officers insisted they were 100% certain that their version was accurate. The jury found in favor of our client on three counts: false arrest, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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