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New Britain Bees player, girlfriend sue Suffolk police

Jonathan Griffin, a first baseman for the New

Jonathan Griffin, a first baseman for the New Britain Bees in Connecticut, is pictured on Aug. 9 2015 during a game against the Long Island Ducks. Photo Credit: Daniel De Mato

A former Long Island Ducks baseball player and his girlfriend have sued Suffolk County and its police, claiming officers beat and detained them after they sought protection from a pack of drunken teenagers.

Jonathan Griffin, 27, a first baseman now with the New Britain Bees in Connecticut, and his girlfriend, Sarah Reid, both of Long Island City, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Central Islip accusing officers of assaulting them for no reason after they left a Babylon bar early on July 4, 2015.

Suffolk police officials, citing longstanding policy, declined to comment Friday. County Attorney Dennis Brown said he had not seen the lawsuit and also declined to comment.

The suit names as defendants Sgt. Brian Camilleri, Officers Evan Rosenberg, Derrick Hall and Stacey Cunneen, and other unnamed officers.

“This was egregious and unprovoked conduct by multiple Suffolk County police officers,” said Freeport attorney Steve Civardi, who is representing Griffin and Reid. “And after nearly 1 1/2 years, this department through its internal affairs department has failed to discipline the officers involved.”

The suit, which seeks a total of $14 million in damages, accused the officers of excessive force, denial of proper medical care, unconstitutional practices, recklessness and gross negligence.

The incident unfolded after the couple left Lily Flanagan’s Pub and were confronted by a group of apparently intoxicated teenagers while walking with other couples on Deer Park Avenue, according to the suit.

Griffin was punched in the nose, and the couples ran from the scene to avoid more friction with the teenagers, the suit states.

When First Precinct police officers arrived, responding to a 911 call, Reid asked for their protection but was “poked violently in the chest with a hard object” by Camilleri, the suit said.

She pushed Camilleri’s hand away and was “immediately and violently thrown to the pavement, handcuffed and suffered severe bruising about her face and body when she was dragged and assaulted,” according to the suit.

Griffin, who protested Reid’s treatment, was tackled by officers, who pulled “his arms behind his back, pushing his face into the pavement and he was repeatedly struck in the face with a hard object, which he believes was a flashlight,” the suit said.

Griffin’s injuries required multiple sutures and medical attention at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, according to the suit. Griffin, was treated at the emergency room and Reid was taken into custody.

Both were arrested on resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration charges. The charges were later dropped, their attorney said.

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