Man sues police over arrest after video contradicts report

K9 Officer Tivnan
A Worcester man accused of assaulting a police officer is suing the department after video cleared him of the charges. The video appeared to show a much different story than the one in the police report filed by K9 Officer Shawn Tivnan, shown here in a file photo from the Worcester Police Dept. (Photo courtesy Facebook/Worcester Police Department)




WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A former Worcester man has sued the city police department after video of his arrest at a beer garden last year contradicted the police account of the incident.

Christopher Ayala-Melendez’s federal lawsuit filed this month alleges excessive force by police, malicious prosecution and violation of his civil rights during his arrest last Oct. 26, The Telegram & Gazette reported Tuesday.

Ayala-Melendez, 24, was charged with assaulting a police officer but prosecutors dismissed charges after reviewing the video.

“If the video hadn’t existed, it would have been their word against mine,” he said. “It would have changed my life.”

Ayala-Melendez was arrested the night of a large fight at the beer garden. He lived near the bar, and had been out for a walk with his girlfriend. He said he approached an officer to ask if he could get home. The police report said Ayala-Melendez became aggressive. He was taken to the ground by an officer and bitten by a police dog.

Ayala-Melendez said the video confirms that he was not acting aggressively or yelling when he pointed in the direction of his apartment.

The district attorney’s office and the police department declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

©The Associated Press 2020

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