Christopher Loeb speaks to reporters after Thomas Spota and Christopher McPartland...

Christopher Loeb speaks to reporters after Thomas Spota and Christopher McPartland were found guilty of covering up his police beating at federal court in Central Islip on Dec. 17, 2019. Credit: Barry Sloan

A Brooklyn federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging Suffolk police assaulted and terrorized the man whose 2012 beating by cops led to prison terms for former Chief of Department James Burke and ex-District Attorney Thomas Spota, court records show. 

U.S. District Judge Hector Gonzalez dismissed the lawsuit on Friday because Christopher Loeb and his attorney, Christopher Cassar, filed it after the statute of limitations had expired.

The lawsuit, which sought unspecified damages, named Suffolk County, its police department and officers Shawn Petersen, Erik Pedersen, Frank Santanello, Mathew Kenneally and Glen Ritchie as defendants. The litigation, filed on Oct. 21 in the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip, claimed that Suffolk police beat, terrorized and threatened Loeb during a 2019 arrest. 

It also claimed Suffolk officers “encouraged, directed and/or permitted” a police dog named Brick to attack him, resulting in serious injury.

United States law governing filing of claims for civil rights violations does not provide a specific statute of limitations, Gonzalez wrote in his order. Courts apply the statute of limitations for personal injury actions under state law. In New York, the judge said, civil rights violations claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations.

Loeb said he was assaulted by Suffolk police on March 22, 2019. The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 21, 2022. 

Cassar did not return a request for comment.

Marykate Guilfoyle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, declined to comment for the story. Dawn Schob, a spokeswoman for Suffolk police, also declined to comment.

Loeb, 36, was arrested in March 2019 after police and prosecutors said he tried to run over officers, deliberately crashed into a police car and drove across lawns to get away. 

The incident began in Ridge, Suffolk prosecutors said in 2019, after Loeb nearly ran over a woman walking her dog while driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Prosecutors said the woman grabbed her dog and dived onto a neighbor’s lawn to avoid getting hit. 

Loeb drove across lawns to evade police, and motorists told police that he drove at more than 100 mph on Patchogue-Mount Sinai Road, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, until he stopped at a gas station in Islandia and ran into the woods. A police helicopter located him crouching under a tree and a police dog retrieved him, according to prosecutors.

Loeb was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and other charges and pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in April 2019. Loeb pleaded guilty to reckless driving in April. He also forfeited the Jeep. 

FBI agents arrest the former Suffolk County Chief of Police...

FBI agents arrest the former Suffolk County Chief of Police James Burke outside his Smithtown home on Dec. 9, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

Burke pleaded guilty in 2016 to violating Loeb’s civil rights after admitting that he assaulted Loeb in a police precinct in 2012 and orchestrated a departmental cover-up of the beating. Burke pleaded guilty to the charges and served time in prison. 

Burke was furious after Loeb, then a self-admitted drug addict, broke into his vehicle and stole items, including his gun belt, Viagra, pornography and sex toys, federal prosecutors charged in a trial of Spota and his then-former top aide, Christopher McPartland.

Former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota outside federal court in...

Former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota outside federal court in Central Islip on Oct. 25, 2017. Credit: Syntax/Steve Pfost

Burke's mentor, Spota, was sentenced to five years in prison in August 2021 after a jury found him and McPartland guilty in December 2019 of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy for their role in the cover-up. Both men started serving their prison sentences in late 2021.

In 2018, Suffolk County agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by Loeb after the assault by Burke and other officers.

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