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September 17, 2015

WINSLOW — A federal court judge has affirmed a suggested ruling in favor of the Winslow Police Department in an excessive-force case a resident brought against three police officers.

The order, issued Thursday, leaves only two claims remaining in the civil case, which probably will go to trial by early next year.

In his order, Judge George Singal affirmed a recommended decision to grant a summary judgment in the case to the town of Winslow and Winslow Officers Joshua Veilleux and Michael Michaud. A federal court judge issued the recommended ruling in the case in early August.

Resident William Sadulsky filed suit against the two officers and Officer Haley Fleming in 2014, charging that they had used excessive force, illegally entered his home and unlawfully detained him when the three officers responded to a noise complaint in January 2012 at his Quimby Lane home.

During the incident, Fleming used a Taser to subdue Sadulsky. In his original complaint, Sadulsky said that Fleming had forced his way into Sadulsky's house and then used his Taser on him when he was standing with his hands up.

In his lawsuit, Sadulsky claimed that Fleming, Michaud and Veilleux used excessive force on him and illegally detained him and also alleged that the town had failed to train and supervise its officers adequately. The suit was amended later to include claims that his wife, Sarah Sadulsky, who was home at the time, suffered psychological injuries because of the incident.

Sadulsky was arrested after the altercation and charged with assaulting Fleming and Michaud and refusing to submit to arrest. At a September 2012 trial, he was found guilty of assaulting Michaud but was acquitted of the other charge.

The ruling Thursday finds in favor of the officers and the town in most of the charges William and Sarah Sadulsky brought against them.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Bangor attorney Joseph Baldacci, who represents the Sadulskys, declined to comment on the case.

The claim that Fleming used excessive force when he used the Taser on Sadulsky and the claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress were not included in the ruling.

Sadulsky and Fleming gave different versions of what happened during the altercation in sworn depositions. Because of the disparity in their accounts, a jury probably will be asked to establish the facts.

"The only thing left now is for the remaining claims to go to trial in the coming months," said Edward Benjamin, an attorney from Drummond Woodsum representing the town, in an email Thursday morning.

A trial in the case probably will be scheduled for December or January, Benjamin said.


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