PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania state trooper sued Pittsburgh police on Tuesday, saying they arrested him on false charges and used excessive force — including a kick to the groin — when he tried to calm a rowdy groomsman after a brawl after his brother’s wedding.
Trooper David Williams, 35, of Plum contends city officers falsely claimed he attacked them when, instead, they pushed and punched him for no reason, escalating a situation he was trying to help defuse.
Williams spent 17 hours in jail and was suspended by the state police for 10 days without pay before Allegheny County prosecutors dropped charges including rioting and aggravated assault — both felonies — at a preliminary hearing after the Sept. 1 melee.
His lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Attorney Timothy O’Brien said the lawsuit targets the “unnecessary escalation of otherwise manageable situations. It’s a problem within the Pittsburgh Police Department and it’s a problem across the country.”
City police spokesman Sonya Toler says the bureau doesn’t comment on litigation. The city’s law department didn’t immediately comment.
Williams’ arrest, captured on surveillance video, occurred after a fight broke out among members of the wedding party in a parking lot after they got off a riverboat.