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New Jersey Student Receives $290,000 Settlement after July 4 Police Assault

by Christopher Zoukis

Jonathan Wilson, a 22-year-old student and resident of Middletown, New Jersey, agreed to a $290,000 settlement as a result of being wrongfully assaulted, arrested, and prosecuted by the Red Bank Police Department.

     On July 3, 2006, Wilson attended a Fourth of July fireworks celebration near the river in the borough of Red Bank. Dozens of people were arrested that night following reports of numerous disturbances. According to Wilson, while he was in downtown Red Bank, several blocks from the river, Officer Stephen Adams got out of his unmarked vehicle, forced Wilson's hands behind his back, and threw him to the ground face-first.

     Wilson said the unnecessary force used by Adams inflicted "lacerations of the head and face as well as severe dental injuries." He also claimed that he was denied medical treatment for a lengthy period while in police custody.

     Wilson filed a complaint in federal court against Adams, Red Bank, the police department, and several other officers involved in the processing of his arrest. Against the officers, he alleged deprivation of his constitutional rights, which included excessive use of force, assault, battery, wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. He charged the department and its officials with negligent hiring, training and supervision.

     An investigation of the incident led to a conviction of Officer Adams for aggravated assault, official misconduct and falsifying records.

     Wilson settled with everyone except Adams for $290,000, as he was not covered by the county's insurance fund due to his actions.

See: Wilson v. Borough of Red Bank, et al., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Division, Case No. 3:07-cv-00953-MLC-TJB (Sept. 29, 2009)


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Related legal case

Wilson v. Borough of Red Bank, et al., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Division