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Toms River Man Claims Berkeley Police Brutality In Lawsuit

Darren Yurick arrested in January 2013

by Patricia A. Miller

A Toms River man who was arrested by Berkeley police last year has filed a lawsuit again two township police officers, claiming he was punched while handcuffed and in custody, according to the lawsuit.

Darren Yurick claims in the suit that Officers Patrick J. Stesner Jr. and Michael Tier assaulted him with "excessive force and without justification."

Yurick, Morning Glory Court, was arrested on Jan. 27, 2013 after police were called to a Berkeley Township home on a report of a domestic violence problem.

Mallon said both Yurick and his wife suffered from severe depression. His wife had just been released from a facility for treatment of depression and Yurick was afraid she was suicidal, Mallon said.

Yurick kicked the door of the home and then went to a neighbor's house where his wife was.

"At one point, he's grabbing her," Mallon said. "He was just trying to help her."

Yurick was arrested and taken to police headquarters. A video of his placement in a jail cell provided by the Berkeley police and handed over to the Prosecutor's Office shows one of the officers apparently striking him twice inside the cell.

The Berkeley Township Police Department conducted an internal investigation, then turned the matter over to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office for review, said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office.

The video footage released by Mallon is "a small segment of a good bit of additional footage we have that gives us a clear picture in entirety of everything that happened that night," Della Fave said.

The Prosecutor's Office agreed with the results of the Berkeley police investigation, he said.

Della Fave called the Berkeley Township Police Department a "very progressive" police department that even outfits police officers on the road with body cameras.

"That is very helpful in these investigations to have multiple views," he said.

The Prosecutor's Office will look at any new video evidence provided by the defense.

"We concur with Berkeley's findings," Della Fave said.

Also named in the lawsuit Berkeley Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele, Sgt. Kevin Santucci, "John Does 6-10" - other officers in supervisory capacity and "John Does 1-5" other unnamed Berkeley police officers.

The chief and other supervisory officers are responsible for the training, supervision and conduct of Stesner and Tier and should be held accountable, the suit states.

Yurick asks for a trial by jury, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and the cost of the suit, the document states.

Mallon said he took the case last week.

"I saw that video and I filed a lawsuit right away," he said.
hardesthit June 11, 2014 at 02:11 PM
Does anyone read these articles before they are posted? Who is Malton?
K June 12, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Mallon is a disreputable lawyer who loves this type of lawsuit. He sues for a big number, settles for much lower and takes a large % for his services. The APP has a more informative article.

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