JUDGE SIDES WITH 3 OFFICERS, TOWN OF WINSLOW IN EXCESSIVE FORCE SUIT
WINSLOW — A federal magistrate judge has recommended a ruling in favor of the town and three Winslow police officers in a lawsuit brought by a resident who claimed the officers used excessive force against him during an arrest two years ago.
William Sadulsky filed suit against the town and officers Joshua Veilleux, Haley Fleming and Michael Michaud in 2014, charging that the officers had used excessive force, illegally entered his home and unlawfully detained him.
They went to his Quimby Lane residence in January 2012 in response to a noise complaint.
In a 30-page ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich recommended the granting of a motion for summary judgment on almost every charge in the lawsuit filed by the town and officers.
Sadulsky has 14 days to file an objection to the ruling. An objection will be sent to an assigned judge to review and decide whether to adopt the recommendation or amend it.
If no objection is filed, the recommendation stands as the ruling in the case.
"We proved to the court that some parts of the case shouldn't proceed because the plaintiff hasn't even made out a case that would survive the trial," said Edward Benjamin, an attorney from the Portland law firm Drummond Woodsum who represents the town and the officers.
Veilleux and Fleming still work with the Winslow department, but Michaud left to take a job out of state.
A separate charge, that Fleming used excessive force when he used a Taser on Sadulsky, was not included in the summary judgment because the two sides dispute what happened during the incident.
Sadulsky's attorney, Joseph Baldacci, didn't return a phone message left on Thursday at his Bangor office.
In his lawsuit, Sadulsky alleged that Fleming forced his way into Sadulsky's home and repeatedly used his Taser on Sadulsky while he was standing with his hands up, and he and accused Michaud and Veilleux of excessive force.
He also charged that the town was responsible for damages because it failed to train or supervise its officers properly. Sadulsky and his wife, Sarah Sadulsky, sought damages for physical and psychological injuries they said they suffered in the incident.
Fleming, on the other hand, said he and Michaud were assaulted by an agitated Sadulsky when they went to the residence on the evening of Jan. 2, 2012, in response to a noise complaint. The altercation led to a physical struggle, during which Fleming attempted to use his Taser on Sadulsky, but it malfunctioned. Fleming then used the Taser in stun mode to subdue the resident.
In September 2012, a jury in Kennebec County convicted Sadulsky of assaulting Michaud during the incident but acquitted him of a charge that he assaulted Fleming.