Two St. Paul police officers used excessive force when they broke a man’s hand during an arrest at his home last spring, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

David L. Hosea, 39, alleges in the lawsuit, originally filed in Ramsey County but moved this week to federal court, that officers Eric Stevens and Richard McGuire violated his rights when they arrested him on April 28, 2014.

Hosea and his fiancé argued at their home that day, and after a 911 hangup call, Stevens and McGuire went to their house and entered unannounced and without a warrant, according to the suit.

The officers, who told Hosea that they walked in because the door was open, then ordered him to the ground. Hosea told the officers that he recently suffered a hamstring injury, the suit said. As he leaned forward and put his right hand on the floor for support, the officers tackled him from behind and “slammed him down using severe, excessive, and unnecessary force,” according to the lawsuit. During the arrest, Hosea’s hand was crushed.

Hosea was then handcuffed and taken to jail. He was charged with obstruction, but those charges were later dismissed.

As a result of the officers’ actions, Hosea fractured a bone in his right hand and had to undergo surgery, the suit claimed.


Nicole Norfleet