Brockton Traffic Stop Leads to Allegations of Assault by Local PD
Brockton, Mass. - A Brockton man is suing that city and several members of its police department after he was allegedly assaulted and wrongfully arrested during a traffic stop in 2012.
Ben Silveus filed the lawsuit in federal court in Boston at the end of March against Sgt. Mark Celia, and Officers William Schlieman and Eric Burke, for what he claims were violations of his rights under both state and federal statutes.
According to the court complaint, Silveus was driving a rented car when he was pulled over by Schlieman for allegedly driving over the speed limit.
Silveus’ mother had rented the car from an Enterprise rental dealer in Boston on April 26, 2012, and though Silveus was to be listed as an additional driver on the original rental agreement, this was accidentally omitted and she had to have a new agreement drafted which gave Silveus permission to drive the car.
When Silveus was stopped by Schlieman in Brockton on April 30, he “was in the process of returning the rented vehicle to its owner …” The complaint claims, Silveus “accidentally handed the fficer the initial rental contract which did not list as an additional driver.
It’s alleged that he “attempted to explain that he did have a right to operate the vehicle,” and that he called the phone number for Enterprise listed on the rental agreement, but that Schlieman “refused” to speak with a company representative.
It’s claimed that he also “attempted to show the fficer the modified contract which listed as an additional driver, but the officer refused to look at the modified contract.” According to the complaint, Schlieman was then joined on the scene by Celia and Da Silva.
It’s alleged that Silveus “again requested” that one of the officers speak with the Enterprise representative, but “all three” of the officers again “refused” to speak with the agent.
It’s claimed that rather than conducting a “reasonable investigation,” the officers “decided to impound the vehicle” Silveus was driving.
Following this, it’s alleged that the officers told him “to leave the scene or he would be arrested,” and that he “obeyed the olice and began walking away from the” officers.
“While leaving the scene,” the complaint alleges that Celia “attacked” Silveus, coming at him from his “blind side” and using a maneuver described as an “’arm-bar takedown.’”
This initial encounter knocked Silveus “off his balance causing both individuals to fall on the concrete pavement,” where Schlieman then “put his weight” on Silveus’ leg.
The complaint does not indicate whether Burke was with Schlieman when Silveus was initially pulled over, or whether he arrived later separately.
However, it’s alleged that Burke “used his baton and beat” Silveus, which resulted in the officer being “partially covered” in Silveus’ blood.
“As a result of this vicious and brutal attack,” the complaint alleges, Silveus “was in excruciating pain and suffered bodily harm which would ultimately require surgery.”
“At the scene,” it’s allege that officers “called an ambulance” for Celia, “who injured his right knee when he attacked and forced” Silveus “onto the concrete pavement,” but that they “refused to call an ambulance” for Silveus, or provide any other “medical relief.”
It’s also claimed that at no time “leading up to the fficers using physical force … did Plaintiff threaten to use or actually use physical force upon anyone,” nor did he” resist arrest.”
The City of Brockton’s Solicitor, who handles all of the city’s legal issues, was contacted by Open Media Boston for a press statement, but the request went unanswered.
Silveus’ attorney could not be reached for comment before the filing of this report.
The case will be heard in US District Court in Boston by Judge Nathaniel Gorton.