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$16,000 Awarded in Father's Day False Arrest

On November 30, 2005, John McHenry of Delaware County, Pennsylvania was awarded $1,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $15,000 in punitive damages as a result of his civil rights suit for false arrest.

On June 16, 2002, Father's Day, McHenry was arrested in front of his children in his home in Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania. Delaware county child support officer, Joseph Nigro, had an arrest warrant for a deadbeat dad named John Hart for failure to pay child support, but mistakenly arrested John McHenry instead, despite McHenry's protestations of innocence. Working with criminology expert Paul McCauley of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Plaintiff's attorney, Robert J. Sugarman, argued that the whole sad debacle could have been easily avoided had Nigro simply checked his warrant paperwork with McHenry's identification.

Ironically, Nigro defended his actions by blaming McHenry for failing to clearly identify himself. The $16,000 judgment clearly identified the true miscreant. See: McHenry v. County of Delaware, USDC, E.D. Penn, No. 04-1011; Source: Federal Jury Verdict Reporter, 2005.

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Related legal case

McHenry v. County of Delaware

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