DeMotte man suing Hobart police over brutality allegations

Police charged man with disorderly conduct; those charges also are pending
2001-12-13T00:00:00Z DeMotte man suing Hobart police over brutality allegationsBILL DOLAN Times Staff Writer
December 13, 2001 12:00 am  • 

HAMMOND -- A DeMotte steelworker is suing the city of Hobart and two Hobart police officers over injuries he suffered in a disturbance at Southlake Mall.

Brian E. Juris is seeking $300,000 in damages for a broken right leg and a shattered right ankle he allegedly suffered Dec. 21, 1999, at the hands of the Hobart Police Department.

Capt. Leo Finnerty said Wednesday he did not know any details about the litigation and would decline comment. Hobart city attorney John Bushemi couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment.

The suit alleges Hobart police arrested Juris at the mall and later charged him with disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and carrying a handgun without a permit. It doesn't indicate what started the incident.

Merrillville lawyer Mitchell Peters, who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Juris' behalf, alleges his client is a victim of false arrest and police brutality. Peters declined comment on the suit until the matter is resolved at trial.

The suit alleges Hobart officers, including Michael Rees and Eric Moser, threw Juris to the ground and kicked him with enough force to fracture his ankle and his leg bone and tore a ligament.

Peters alleges Juris had to undergo surgery and have a screw and wires inserted to stabilize his leg. He lost his job because he requires crutches to walk and remains in pain.

Juris is pleading innocent to the criminal charges, which still are pending in Hobart City Court.

Bill Dolan can be reached at a (219) 662-5328.

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