FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

The Law Officer's Pocket Manual - Bloomberg BNA
This handy 4" x 6" spiral-bound manual offers examples showing how rules are...

Top News

Man Arrested and Questioned After Deadly Trooper Ambush Sues Pennsylvania State Police

February 19, 2016  | 

A man who was arrested then questioned about a deadly ambush at a Pennsylvania State Police barracks has sued claiming he was traumatized by overzealous troopers who detained him based on mere speculation.

Jeffrey Hudak, 49, of Clarks Summit, PA, contends he was arrested and handcuffed about 12 hours after Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, 2014.

The alleged gunman, Eric Frein, was eventually captured after a 48-day manhunt and is jailed awaiting trial, ABC News reports.

But on the day after the shooting Hudak contends he was a prime suspect merely because his estranged wife had a relationship with Douglass. Hudak was arrested without explanation by troopers in SWAT gear who surrounded his mother's home, the lawsuit said.

"Pennsylvania State Police had absolutely no legal basis for the warrantless arrest," according to the lawsuit filed in Thursday in U.S. District Court in Scranton.

Hudak alleges he was questioned for hours and denied an attorney even though one showed up at the barracks where he was being questioned. He was kept from using the restroom until he agreed to give a DNA sample and undergo testing for gunpowder residue, the lawsuit said.

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Percy @ 2/19/2016 4:33 PM

If this article is correct I hope he wins millions. It's amazing just what you people think you should be able to get away with when 1 of yours is shot.
What is the point of swearing an oath if you feel it's OK to do this.

Robert @ 2/19/2016 10:27 PM

You never know in these cases what the truth is....but how about this for a solution before it gets to the point of a lawsuit that costs taxpayers thousands of dollars.
How about the state police saywe're sorry and we made a was a bad day for everyone and we were too focused on finding a killer. We should have done better.
A simple apology can go a long way.
Instead both sides are now dug in...and the taxpayer is left to foot the bill!!!

jreb @ 2/21/2016 2:12 AM


You correctly start out your comment with "if this article is correct." But, then immediately start making assumptions about "you people" taking for granted that the article IS correct. Somehow, I suspect that there was more reason to suspect Hudak than the mere fact that he was in a relationship with one of the involved officer's estranged wife. IF that was all there was, then Hudak's rights were violated, he deserves compensation, and no professional, honest LEO would disagree with the judgement. But, that is a pretty big "IF."

plato's playdough @ 2/21/2016 2:38 AM

Was he a member of a protected class?

PoPo @ 2/22/2016 9:02 AM

I have to admit I agree (in part) with Percy. If the person arrested was detained for "hours" give him a $100 per hour detained, probably a lot more than he usually makes at work. Then round it up to the nearest $100. So they apologize, hand him a check for...what $1,000, and let him split it with his lawyer. There is no indication he was roughed and it only says he wasn't allowed to go potty. I think they had reasonable suspicion to question him based on his ex-wife's relationship with one of the troopers. Anything more would be a shame. The point of swearing an oath is to do our best to capture the killer. Usually the most likely suspect is known to the victim.

Robert @ 2/24/2016 10:39 AM may want to understand the team punitive damages?
Where does your restitution theory end? If I steal a $500 item, and the store gets the item back, did a crime not occur?
Basically, the civil courts are the only remaining places where 'crimes' committed by the LEO community are still prosecuted on a regular basis (DAs refuse to prosecute most LEO criminal cases). So the citizens of this country are left to the federal civil court system.
IF he was illegally detained, that is a crime. However, no one will call it what it is...especially on this board.
IF the court finds his claims without merit, then the DA was right to not prosecute..and the majority on this board will be proven correct.
At the moment, we do not know which is correct.
But, a simple apology, the night of the incident probably would save taxpayers millions.
How many lawsuits do you see where the LEO/local government publicly apologies to the victim..better to lose the taxpayers money than admit fault!

132&Bush @ 2/24/2016 9:45 PM

Since when is just being suspected of a crime and being questioned about it for a while worth a million dollars. Stupid. Sounds like he was a reasonable suspect. As for this bs about not helping the police and not answering questions etc. Sounds like he was being a jerk and extending his stay. I have no problem doing sobriety tests and breath tests when asked. Of course, I am life long tea totaler.

henry van cleaf @ 3/5/2016 9:16 PM

this was NOT an arrest. there was NO warrant issued, the police said he was brought in for questioning. absent any probable cause, other than a tenuous relationship. thia was NOT an arrest it was armed assault, breaking and entering violation of civil and contitutional rights, and KIDNAPPINGV (define as holding someone for purposes of coercion.

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/29/2016 10:53 PM

The Troopers did nothing wrong. This idiots just mad because he was a suspect and he figures he can capitalize off it. Well, I hope he loses and has to pay the court costs.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Off-Duty New York Officer Shot, Wounded in Love Triangle Gone Wrong
Authorities say the wounded officer is the dead woman’s boyfriend and the dead man is her...
Virginia Deputies, Officers Make Surprise Visit to Boy's Birthday Party
Deputies with the Isle of Wight County (VA) Sheriff's Office and the Windsor (VA) Police...
Massachusetts Man Advertised for Cop Killers on Craigslist, Police Say
"I want to see people killing cops and Uber drivers in and around Cambridge and Somerville...
Tony Danza, Josh Groban to Star in New "Family Friendly" Netflix Police Procedural
According to a Netflix press release, "this 'odd couple' become unofficial partners as...

Police Magazine