Lawsuits Allege Police Brutality by Springettsbury Township Police Officers

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Three Springettsbury Township Police Department Officers are being sued by two people claiming the officers used excessive force against them in two separate incidents. Patrolman Chad Moyer is a defendant in both cases, which occurred 16 months apart. The other officers named in the suits are Patrolman Gregory Hadfield and Patrolman William Polizzotto. According to a press release from the plaintiffs’ attorney, Devon Jacob, portions of both incidents were caught on videotape which is being released today.

The first lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred on April 2nd, 2011. Police were called to a domestic dispute. According to the Complaint, arriving officers found Debra Williams being restrained by a male on the floor of a residence in the township. Williams claims Moyer punched and slapped her as she sat handcuffed in a patrol vehicle. Hadfield is accused of grabbing Williams by the neck and slapping and punching her as well. According to a press release from Devon Jacob, this can all be seen on the video. Hadfield also admitted to tasering Williams while she was handcuffed prior to being placed in the car. Jacob says that the officers should have been able to tell that Williams was emotionally ill, as she was visibly distraught and stated that she wanted to kill herself.

The second lawsuit stems from the arrest of Steven Landis on August 5th, 2012. According to the Complaint filed by Landis, Moyer spotted him walking in the area of Eden Road and Sand Bank Roads around 11:22pm. Moyer ran a check on Landis and discovered he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for a domestic dispute from earlier that night. Landis was not aware of the warrant at the time. During the arrest, which the attorney claims is caught on dashboard camera video, Moyer is seen violently throwing Landis to the ground. Moyer can be heard making explicit threats. He kneed Landis in the ribcage, breaking five ribs. Polizzotto held Landis down and tasered him, according to the release.

“There is a serious problem with this police department,” said Devon Jacob. “As a former police officer, I know what constitutes a lawful use of force. However, you do not need to be a police officer to watch these videotapes and understand that that the police officers’ conduct is both criminal and a clear violation of Ms. Williams’ and Mr. Landis’ civil rights.”

Springettsbury Township Police Chief Thomas Hyers issued the following statement this afternoon:

“At this point I have not received or been officially notified of any civil actions being taken against any member of the Springettsbury Township Police Department. As is our departmental policy, we will not comment on any active investigation or pending lawsuit until the matter is fully investigated or resolved.”

To read both Complaints in their entirety, click here: www.linkedin.com/in/devonjacob

Melissa Nardo will have a full report tonight on FOX43 News at 6pm.

14 comments

  • Concerned citizen

    Seems like a former cop who's jealous he cant be one anymore… decided to go chase the money and go after deep pockets.. What a joke… everyone wants money, even thought they forget the CRIMINAL was in the wrong. Cussing, fighting, running, with police, they try to subdue / restrain for everyone;s safety…Don't go after good agressive cops you are going after bad guys…

  • bobby crocker

    Devon Jacob was a cop in State College and only lasted a few months! Sounds to me like he was unable to make probation, probably caught him exaggerating a report just like here! I also love how he edited these videos and FAILED to show the entire length!

  • thezealousone

    We tend to overlook police abuse when it occurs in the ghetto, just as they did in Nazi Germany. As a citizen with roots that go back to our founding fathers, I refuse to overlook such illegal actions by the police or by a DA, that goes on in York County or the TWP. These actions need to be investigated and exposed by outside law enforcement, and those who participated need to be prosecuted as common felons times three. We do not need a police state in York County. We need honest government. This is just like the PA Turnpike corruption under Rendell.

  • Harry Bush

    I just about died laughing when the guy lets out that loud scream. I assume it's when he is tazed. It sounds like he just had a dick shoved up his ass!

  • Wouldrathernotsay

    Recently had an encounter with Ptlmn Moyer, Although it was nothing to this extent, he was a rude obnoxious cop, who has a chip on his shoulder. He thinks because he is a cop he can treat people like dirt! He needs to be fired! Just because you are a cop does not give you the right to treat people the way he does. And not only was he rude and mistreated everyone involved his report is not accurate. He is giving police and the township a bad reputation. There is no place for policemen like this in our society.

  • drod

    chad moyer is another red lions finest……..what a worthless piece of garbage I hope you loose your job and wait in the unemployment line……

  • black eyed officer

    There are WAY TO MANY cops out there that think they can't be touched! I haven't watched the videos yet. Only read the article. And what's described I see no reason to escalate to the levels of force described. The woman was DETAINDED in the cruiser. How is a restrant/detained woman a threat?!? And what was the reason to stop the gentleman that evening? Walking down the street at 11:22pm can't be probable cause to "detain" you for any kind of questioning. Did they observe anything that would allow then to stop this guy and infringe on his (4th Amendment rights I believe) to search and seizure. I maybe just a Constable(who IS a law enforcement officer)here in the state but we have to complete 40 hrs of continued education every year to continue to preform our duties on the streets of Pennsylvania. 20 on new laws/procedures etc. And in that 20 EVERY YEAR is USE OF FORCE when to use what. And the other 20 is spent on the range recerting to carry our firearm. I THINK it's time to get these cops in on this yearly kind of training. Get these "chips" off their shoulders or GET THEM OFF THE STREET! WOW concerned citizen and Bobby crocker are really laying into you Mr. Jacob!! I have a gut feeling that they some how just might be two of the officers named that NEED off our streets using this forum to attack you!! Because ANY TRUE citizen who is truly concerned for OUR safety isn't gonna back a law enforcement officer out smacking around RESTRAINT WOMEN!!

    • think

      Beautifully spoken. So awesome to have an honest man (on 'that side' of the thin blue line) actually speak out against the unlawful, violent activety of one of your own. You're spot-on with the call about
      concerned citizen and Bobby crocker attacking the attorney (albiet with facts all distorted <<<no doubt a trait learned from lying on affidavits)…BUT, it might not be the officers in question…it might be some of their fellow officers who, right or wrong, will back them up regardless.

  • For The People

    Cops who act out of anger can be more dangerous than the people they are arresting. After all, they are carrying deadly weapons and are trained to use them. So what happens when they get the wrong person? The police force needs patient, understanding and decent human beings. I understand that some of their suspects are real "dirt bags" BUT it's not up to individual police officers to take the law into their own hands and punish or beat a person they think is guilty. The judge will decide who is guilty and what the punishment will be. When you are a bystander, watching a cop beating someone. What can you do??How do you stop it?? You can't!!_That's why the police officers that have this power, this authority and our trust. Must have the mentality to handle it.. These guys do not!! _I suspect that these guys have gotten away with this kind of behavior so much in the past that now, even with the cameras in their car, they believe they are untouchable._Another Thought. _Imagine being mistaken for somebody else that these guys were looking for. Imagine trying to explain you're situation. With police officers like this, Imagine what might happen. You might be next.

  • Cassy

    Debra is 5 foot nothing and a little over a hundred pounds there was absolutely NO reason for that bull **** cop to do that to her

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