A federal appeals court has ruled the police departments of Easton, Monroe, Trumbull, Darien and Wilton, Conn., cannot use a shield of immunity to protect them from millions of dollars in civil rights claims arising from a 2008 tactical-team raid that killed a Norwalk man and injured an Easton homeowner.
In a 51-page decision, 10 months after it heard arguments in the case, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for a jury to decide whether the police departments violated Ronald Terebesi's constitutional rights when a heavily armed team smashed down his door, tossed stun grenades into his home and fatally shot his house guest, 33-year-old Gonzalo Guizan, as the two men were watching TV.
During the raid, Guizan was shot half a dozen times by Monroe Officer Michael Sweeney, the Connecticut Post reports.
The police team's action was based on a claim by an exotic dancer that she saw a small amount of cocaine and some smoking pipes in Terebesi's home.
Last February, the towns agreed to pay $3.5 million to Guizan's family to settle their lawsuit. Terebesi states in his lawsuit he was injured when police pinned him to the floor and hit him in the head with a gun butt. He claims he is suffering from post-traumatic stress as a result from the raid and his civil rights were violated.