United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
HECTOR L. MANGUAL, Plaintiff,
CITY OF WORCESTER, MATTHEW EARLY, MICHAEL HANLON, and KELLEN SMITH, Defendants.
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE
L. Mangual (“Mangual” or “Plaintiff”)
has filed a federal civil rights claim against the City of
Worcester (“City”), and Detective Sgt. Matthew
Early (“Det. Sgt. Early”), Detective Michael
Hanlon (“Det. Hanlon”) and Detective Kellen Smith
(“Det. Smith”) of the Worcester Police Department
(the City, Det. Sgt. Early, and Dets. Hanlon and Smith
collectively referred to as “Defendants”) under
42 U.S.C. §1983 for violation of his Constitutional due
process rights, his right to be free from unreasonable search
and seizure and his right to be free from use of excessive
force against him. Mangual has also filed Massachusetts state
law claims against the Defendants for violation of the
Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA”),
Mass.Gen.L. ch. 12, §§11-H-I, violation of the
Massachusetts Privacy Act, Mass.Gen.L. ch. 214, §1B,
conspiracy, assault and battery and intentional infliction of
emotional distress. Specifically, Mangual alleges that he was
subjected to an unlawful strip and body cavity search and
excessive force was used against him in an
interrogation/holding room located at the Worcester Police
Department, including officer(s) kicking him, slamming his
face and refusing to loosen his handcuffs when he complained
they were too tight.
Order and Memorandum of Decision addresses Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgmnet (Docket No. 71). For the reasons
set forth below, that motion is allowed, in part and
denied, in part.
Summary Judgment is appropriate where, “the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on
file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Carroll v. Xerox Corp., 294 F.3d 231, 236
(1st Cir. 2002) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
“‘A “genuine” issue is one that could
be resolved in favor of either party, and a “material
fact” is one that has the potential of affecting the
outcome of the case.” Sensing v. Outback Steakhouse
of Florida, LLC, 575 F.3d 145, 152 (1st Cir.
2009) (quoting Calero-Cerezo v. U.S. Dep't. of
Justice, 355 F.3d 6, 19 (1st Cir. 2004)).
considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court
construes the record in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party and makes all reasonable inferences in favor
thereof. Sensing, 575 F.3d at 153. The moving party
bears the burden to demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact within the record. Id., at
152. “‘Once the moving party has pointed
to the absence of adequate evidence supporting the nonmoving
party's case, the nonmoving party must come forward with
facts that show a genuine issue for trial.'”
Id. (citation to quoted case omitted).
“‘[T]he nonmoving party “may not rest upon
mere allegations or denials of the [movant's] pleading,
but must set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue of material fact as to each issue upon which
[s/he] would bear the ultimate burden of proof at
trial.” Id. (citation to quoted case omitted).
The nonmoving party cannot rely on “conclusory
allegations” or “improbable inferences”.
Id. (citation to quoted case omitted).
“‘The test is whether, as to each essential
element, there is “sufficient evidence favoring the
nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that
party.” ' ” Id. (citation to quoted
October 24, 2011, Worcester Police Department
(“WPD”) Vice Squad Detective Dana Randall
(“Det. Randall”) was told by a confidential,
reliable informant (“CI”) that Mangual was in
possession of a large, black handgun, had boasted of
committing a number of armed robberies in the Main South area
of Worcester, and was headed to the Main South area pf the
City with the intent to commit additional armed robberies and
sell drugs. The CI provided Det. Randall with a detailed
description of Mangual, including the clothes he was wearing
and a distinct physical mark located on Mangual's neck.
The CI also told Det. Randall that Mangual had a large amount
of heroin on his person for sale, which was located in his
buttock's area. As a result of Det. Randall receiving
this information, he and five other detectives from the WPD
Vice Squad, including Det. Sgt. Early and Dets. Smith and
Hanlon, went to the Main South area to look for Mangual. The
detectives were all in plain clothes wearing badges and/or
clothing with the word “Police” displayed.
approximately 3:45 p.m., Mangual was walking to go catch a
bus home around the area of Sycamore Street and Main Street,
in the vicinity of a used car lot. He was walking towards
City Hall. Out of nowhere, he was rushed by a number of men
who grabbed him and handcuffed his hands behind his back.
Based on the information they had that Mangual was armed,
Dets. Smith and Randall conducted a pat frisk. One of the
items recovered was what appeared to be a large frame
semi-automatic handgun with “Smith and Wesson”
printed on the handle; the hammer of the pistol was in the
“cocked back” position. It was later determined
that this “gun” was a replica and not a working
firearm. Mangual's pockets were emptied and Det. Smith
put all of his property into his baseball cap, including the
“gun, ” a steak knife, $110.00, his wallet, and
keys. Another police officer in a black vest patted
Mangual's body all over and stated that Mangual was
either “clear” or “clean.” Mangual
was Mirandized and asked if he had any additional
drugs or weapons on his person. Det.Sgt. Early advised him
that he believed he had heroin on him and would allow him to
retrieve the drugs so there would not be the necessity to
conduct a search. Mangual denied having any drugs on his
was unclear as to why he had been stopped and did not
cooperate with the officers' attempts to conduct a more
thorough search of his person. The officers put him inside a
red SUV. Det. Sgt. Early and Mangual sat in the back seat and
Dets. Hanlon and Smith sat in the front. Mangual asked why he
was not being taken in the transportation wagon which had
arrived at the scene. Det. Sgt. Early responded, “oh
no, you're getting strip searched.” When they
arrived in at the Worcester Police Station garage, Mangual
claims that Det. Sgt. Early ordered his detectives to assure
the cameras were off. Mangual was held outside the vehicle
for a few moments and then another officer came out and said,
“they're good.” Mangual was then brought
inside and put into a cell. Per WPD Policy and Procedure 720,
strip searches are not conducted on camera; however, the
video monitor is turned on and the supervisor relays the
actions being taken so that the audio portion of the camera
system records the search while the arrestee remains outside
of the visible frame of the video camera. Initially, Det.
Sgt. Early stepped inside the cell with Mangual. Once Dets.
Smith and Det. Hanlon joined them, Det. Sgt. Early stepped
out. He then stood in the cell doorway and observed the
Smith grabbed Mangual and flipped him over in the air and
slammed him on his face. Mangual was caught off guard, but he
managed to break the fall with minimum impact to his face.
Det. Smith then put him down and jumped on his back, putting
his full weight on him. Mangual could not breathe- he tried
to relax and felt his wrist being pressed, which was painful.
Mangual heard Det. Sgt. Early command him to comply and stop
resisting. Dets. Hanlon and Smith grabbed him and stood him
up, slamming him flat against the wall. Mangual fell, and
collapsed to the floor. Mangual was kicked and stepped on.
Det. Hanlon then took his sneakers off while Det. Smith
pinned him face down. Next, Mangual felt his pants being
yanked off his body; he felt the cold floor on his leg areas.
Mangual could hear Det. Sgt. Early saying, “Hector,
spread your cheeks.” He then felt his underwear pulled
off him. While this was happening, Det. Smith was on top of
him twisting his wrist. Mangual remembers asking Det. Sgt.
Early to look at his wrist-he was in pain and thought was cut
around his wrist area.
asked to see a doctor. Det. Sgt. Early said that nobody was
hurting him. Mangual heard someone ask, “Who's
doing it?” Det. Smith was still on top of him when
Mangual feel fingers spreading his butt cheeks open. Mangual
clenched his buttocks and heard “relax, Hector, just
relax”. Mangual, who felt violated, yelled
“please don't do this, please don't do this to
me.” Det. Hanlon continued to press his buttocks wide
apart. Mangual was in pain in his buttocks area and at the
same time, Det. Smith kept pressure on his back and was
twisting wrist. Mangual screamed in pain. He kept hearing
Det. Sgt. Early say, “Hector spread your cheeks, bend
over, spread your cheeks”. Mangual then felt fingers
entering his anus cavity; he again yelled out in pain.
Mangual felt cold, then a burning sensation as he felt
fingers inside his body. He heard Det. Sgt. Early saying,
“game's up.” Mangual yelled and asked the
officers stop violating him. Det. Smith was hitting him on
his back side.
plastic bag was removed from Mangual's rectum.
Subsequently, it was determined to contain five separately
packaged gram bags of heroin. The plastic bag was placed into
an evidence bag and labelled “body cavity” by
Officer Fred McGill, the evidence officer. Mangual was then
left alone on the floor. He pleaded to have his pants and
other clothing returned, but was denied. Dets. Smith and
Hanlon both dressed him-- they would not uncuff him and allow
him to dress myself. Mangual was put him in another cell room
for several hours before he was taken out, uncuffed and
booked. Mangual was never released on bail. He was charged in
Worcester Superior Court with: Carrying a Dangerous Weapon,
in violation of Mass.Gen. L. ch. 269, §10(b); Possession
With Intent to Distribute (Class A) Second or Subsequent
Offense, in violation of Mass.Gen. L. ch. 94C, § 32(b);
Resisting Arrest; and Disturbing the Peace, in violation of
Mass. Gen. L. c. 272, § 53. As to the first three
offenses, Mangual was charged as a habitual offender. Mangual
pled guilty to the following offenses: carrying a dangerous
weapon, possession of a Class A substance (heroin) with
intent to distribute, resisting arrest and disturbing the
peace. The second/subsequent drug offense and habitual