Police allegedly yelled “Now take
that, you f***ing queer” as they beat a gay Parkersburg, West
Virginia man, The Charleston
Timothy Michael Mazza filed a suit
against three Parkersburg police officers and the city Thursday in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Mazza claims in the suit that on
October 30, 2009 he was beaten by police as he was being unlawfully
arrested in his own home. Officers Nathan R. Deuley, M.W. Eichhorn
and R.L. Koher are named as defendants.
In the course of questioning him about
an altercation with his neighbor, police pulled Mazza to the ground
as he attempted to go inside his house. He was grabbed by the neck
by one of the officers and kicked in the ribs, Mazza claims.
“He kicked me in the ribs and he
said, 'Now take that, you f***ing queer,” Mazza
told the paper.
Charges of assault and battery on a
police officer against Mazza have been dismissed by a magistrate
Mazza's lawyer, John Bryan, said the
incident has left his client unable to return to work.
“Both his psychologist and his
treating physician kept him off work due to his physical injuries and
post-traumatic stress and depression,” he said.
Both the city's police chief and mayor
have denied the claims.
Mazza told the paper that he walked
down the street to apologize to a neighbor after his partner, Kevin
Swearingen, had yelled back at a neighbor four houses down who yelled
at them to slow down when driving through the neighborhood as they
He said the neighbor accepted his
apology after explaining that someone was racing around the
neighborhood in a similar looking black SUV as Mazza's.
Police questioned Mazza and his partner
about the incident, but Mazza became agitated when they began
swearing and repeating their questions.
Mazza says he asked the officers to
leave his property twice, then told them he was going inside to call
“That's when I reached for the door
and that's when they pulled me from behind and took me half-way
across the deck and slammed me to the ground,” Mazza said.
Swearingen says he witnessed the
beating. Mazza was hauled away to jail.
According to a police report prepared
by Koher, Mazza was drunk (a point he disputes), became disorderly
and hit Eichhorn in the face while being questioned.