William Moreno's family has filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Police Department for the physical and mental damage inflicted upon them for 45 minutes by two dozen SWAT team members.
The incident, per RT.com, began in December 2010, when an officer at a local bar attempted to escort an unruly patron out of the establishment.
When a fight ensued, surveillance footage showed a man — later identified as William Moreno — jumping into the fray. In the mêlée, Moreno proceeded to break the officer’s leg, chip his tooth and leave him unconscious. He then returned home to his family.
According to the lawsuit filed by William Moreno’s wife, within 24 hours police retaliated with two SWAT teams detonating flash grenades and forcibly entering their home. They then proceeded to terrorize the family for 45 minutes.
For what it is worth, the authorities did have a warrant to enter into the Moreno home and arrest William Moreno for assaulting a police officer.
However, according to Georgeia Moreno, the ensuing 45 minutes went above and beyond an arrest.
According to the suit, the teams handcuffed Moreno, his wife, Georgeia, his father-in-law and his son, Billy. The suit also claims that the authorities forced Billy to lie on broken glass.
“Then they threw us all on the ground and were handcuffing us, kicking us, screaming,” Georgeia said. “They had rifles pointed at our heads.”
On top of that, William Moreno’s father-in-law, who had just gone through arm surgery, was reportedly hurt in the arrest and would later require additional surgery. Moreno’s 10-year-old son was allegedly dragged from the bathtub and forced at gunpoint to stand naked next to his 4-year-old sister.
According to the report, one of the officers said, “You think you can get one of ours, and we won’t get one of yours?” as well as, “That’s how we do things here," and advising the family to move out of Pittsburgh.
The family is seeking $50,000 in damages — medical, architectural, and psychological — for the breach of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The Department claimed that the filed report exceeded the time limit. Despite that, the judge refused to dismiss the case, finding no legal time limit for the report as well as inconsistencies in the officer’s testimonials. Moreno is still serving eight to 20 years in prison for the assault.