Samaritan Says Bad Cop Got Him Beaten

     ROCHESTER, N.Y. (CN) – A police officer squealed on a man who called 911 on a marijuana grower, and the pot farmer beat him up, the good Samaritan claims in court.
     Christopher Spahn sued the Town of Irondequoit, its Police Department and Officer Chad Rahn, in Federal Court.
     Spahn claims Rahn violated his civil rights by revealing his identity to the marijuana grower, who had been arrested on his tip.
     Irondequoit is a suburb of Rochester.
     Spahn claims Irondequoit and its Police Department negligently hired, trained and supervised the cop, who used a department computer to track him down after he made the 911 call.
     Spahn claims he called 911 in April 2010 to report that Frank Arena was growing marijuana in his home. Spahn says he made the call anonymously, and “specifically informed the 911 operator that he did not want to provide his name, address or telephone number.”
     Arena, whose home Spahn had visited with a mutual friend, was arrested, the complaint states. Arena is not a party to the complaint.
     After Arena was released, Spahn claims, he asked Rahn to help him track down the snitch.
     Rahn got Spahn’s name and address from the Monroe County I-Leads system and gave the information to Arena, the complaint states.
     The next time Spahn went to Arena’s home, Arena and his roommate Matthew Montrois assaulted him, Spahn says. They robbed him and “forced [him] to go to his home, where he was robbed of additional personal items and threatened with a knife,” according to the complaint.
     Spahn claims he suffered lacerations to his back and bruising and swelling to his face.
     Arena and Montrois were convicted of burglary, robbery and assault and were sent to prison, Spahn says in the complaint. He claims that he “continues to live in fear that a retaliatory action will be taken on his life.”
     He claims the town and its police department breached their duty to train and supervise Rahn, “especially when an initial background check for employment raised numerous material issues concerning his fitness as an officer.”
     As an officer, Rahn “was investigated multiple times for domestic violence and other violations of the law,” according to the complaint. At one point, he was given a multi-year suspension, but “displays a pattern of violating the suspension by working with another police department while suspended,” Spahn says in the complaint.
     “Defendants have tolerated and permitted a pattern of negligent hiring, training, supervising and failure to terminate of police officers, proximately resulting in employees violating the civil rights of persons such as plaintiff,” the complaint states.
     “The custom or policy of defendants, and their deliberate indifference to the rights of those who come into contact with these employees, caused plaintiff to be subjected to denial of his constitutional rights.”
     Spahn adds: “Defendants caused plaintiff to suffer severe injuries which included, but are not limited to, serious physical injury, continued fear of physical harm, loss of personal property, emotional stress, loss of reputation and … attorney’s fee.”
     He seeks a jury trial, $1 million in damages and attorney’s fees.
     He is represented by Anthony LaDuca of Rochester.

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