- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who alleges police shot him with a stun gun while he was having an epileptic seizure filed a lawsuit accusing two officers of battery and using excessive force.

Robert Marzullo sued Hamden police earlier this month over a Jan. 18, 2012, encounter. His lawyer, Diane Polan, told the New Haven Register (https://bit.ly/1hDAjgf ) that officers need to be better trained on when to use stun guns.

“I think it goes without saying that you don’t taser someone who’s having an epileptic seizure,” Polan said.

Police say officers Michael Doherty and William Onofrio were forced to use their stun guns because Marzullo, a Hamden resident, became violent.

Town officials including Police Chief Thomas Wydra declined to comment on Marzullo’s allegations, though Wydra said: “It has been my professional experience that police reports and complaints made in court quite often differ based on the recollections and perspectives of the persons involved.”

According to the lawsuit, Marzullo was driving a car with his sister as a passenger when he suffered a seizure, causing the car to crash into a stone wall and garage.

Marzullo was unresponsive and slumped over the steering wheel when the two officers ordered him to get out of the car and used a stun gun on him, the lawsuit says. When the sister, Susan Marzullo-Williams, screamed to police that her brother was epileptic, Doherty replied, “I know,” according to the lawsuit.

The police report says Marzullo was uncooperative, refused to let his sister out of the car and became agitated, confused and violent. Marzullo at one point left the car, but he jumped back in and officers were forced to stun him during a struggle to get him out of the vehicle, police said.

Police didn’t file criminal charges against Marzullo.


Information from: New Haven Register, https://www.nhregister.com

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