Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Angry Facebooker Loses Challenge to N.J. Arrest

(CN) - A man who called a New Jersey cop a Nazi on Facebook cannot collect $750,000 for the depression and heart attack he allegedly suffered after a two-hour arrest, a federal judge ruled.

The dispute stems from two messages Vassilios Adamakos sent to Linwood, N.J., police officer Gary Coslop via Facebook in August 2010.

His first posting, rife with misspellings and grammatical errors, came under the subject line in all caps: "You Are a Disgrace to the Police Uniform Lyer," as reproduced in the ruling.

"You and your good buddy Austin are a disgrace to Linwood Police Dept.," the message states. "Both of you should be thrown out and send to prison for lying and abusing innocent citizens. Linwood will pay a havy price some day for having you around. You are an ugly person inside out."

To top that off, Adamakos added: "By the way, I am enjoying very much the fact that your wife left you after the enlargement of certain parts of her body and someone else is enjoying the fruits of your labor. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha."

The second posting, which also contained misspellings, read: "Small world Gary you are probably very surprise that I know so many details about you. By the way on your profile picture you definitely look like a NAZI. Please change the picture is very offensive."

Coslop allegedly charged Adamakos with unlawful computer access, third-degree harassment and fourth-degree stalking, and arrested him at his home at 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2010.

Adamakos filed a handwritten complaint against the city and its police department two years later in state court, seeking $750,000 for his pain and suffering. The complaint did not name Coslop as a defendant, however.

"Coslop purposely filed false charges, abusing his authority to cause financial harm to me and defame me," the complaint states. "As a result of this horrible situation, I have fallen into deep depression and had a serious heart attack."

Though Adamakos was unable to raise his $15,000 bail, he placed $1,500 bail at Atlantic County Jail and was released about two hours after his initial arrest, according to the complaint.

The charges were allegedly resolved a few weeks later when Adamakos agreed to take an anger-management course and was placed on one-year nonreporting probation.

Linwood and its police department ultimately removed the action to federal court where U.S. District Judge Renee Bumb granted them summary judgment last week.

"Although the alleged grounds for plaintiff's claims are far from clear, defendants have interpreted the complaint as alleging various constitutional violations as a result of an official policy or custom of the city of Linwood," Bumb wrote. "Plaintiff has not disputed defendants' characterization of his claims."

Even if Adamakos had alleged claims for false arrest and malicious prosecution against Coslop, such claims would fail either on the merits or as barred under the Supreme Court's 1994 decision in Heck v. Humphrey, the ruling states.

"Plaintiff, who has not opposed the within motion, has failed to adduce any evidence relating to a policy, custom, or a failure of training or supervision," Bumb wrote. "The court has reviewed plaintiff's deposition and answers to interrogatories and can find none. Accordingly, summary judgment in favor of the city of Linwood is appropriate."


Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.