A man is suing the city of St. Paul and one of its police officers in federal court, alleging that he was subjected to excessive force, unreasonable seizure and constitutional violations during a 2012 arrest.

Robin K. Neal’s suit filed Thursday is seeking $200,000 in monetary damages from the city and officer Daniel Ficcadenti.

“Defendant City of St. Paul intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with deliberate indifference to the rights of citizens, failed to supervise, instruct, and train, including through proper discipline, Defendant Ficcadenti to refrain from performing unreasonable seizures and using excessive force,” said the suit.

Neal suffered cuts to his face and arm, and sickle cell pain crisis and muscle strain after Ficcadenti arrested him about 11 p.m. on June 6, 2012, the suit alleged.

Ficcadenti began working for the department in 2007, and is an officer assigned to the Western District.

According to the suit: Neal was sitting with others in a car parked outside Born’s Bar in St. Paul when Ficcadenti and other officers ordered the group to exit the vehicle. Ficcadenti was responding to a weapons call, and apparently thought that the car Neal was in matched the description of a car where a man had retrieved a gun.

Neal exited the vehicle and kept his hands up, but was confused by different commands from Ficcadenti and the other officers.

“When Neal got close enough to Ficcadenti, Ficcadenti took physical control of Neal by grabbing his arms and slamming him to the ground from a standing position head first onto the sidewalk,” the suit said, adding that the officer dragged Neal on the sidewalk for “a few feet.”

No weapons were found on Neal, who was treated at Regions Hospital for his injuries. The suit said that the correct suspect was later arrested.

Neal did not resist or evade arrest, the suit said, but was charged with obstructing the legal process. The charge was later dismissed.

Neal’s suit levies a claim of unreasonable seizure by excessive force against Ficcadenti, and a civil rights violation claim against the city. He is seeking $100,000 in damages for each claim.

 

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