ELIZABETH — A city man who said he was improperly arrested and unfairly treated during an incident seven years ago reached a settlement with the city that paid him almost $100,000.

As first reported by government transparency advocate John Paff, Yohan Pichardo had filed a lawsuit against the city in 2011 claiming his constitutional and civil rights had been violated on Aug. 26, 2010. According to the lawsuit, he was falsely charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Pichardo said in the lawsuit that as a result of the incident he suffered both emotional and physical injuries, which required medical care. He also noted in the lawsuit that the charges against him had been dismissed in Elizabeth Municipal Court at the suggestion of the municipal prosecutor. The lawsuit cites the court records as showing that the prosecutor encouraged the charges to be dismissed "with the stipulation of probable cause."

No details about the incident itself were outlined in the lawsuit, but the prosecutor was quoted as saying that it "appears to have been a misunderstanding between the defendant and the officer."

Following the dismissal of the charges, Pichardo filed the lawsuit "for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and excessive force."

The final settlement was agreed to and signed off on June 27 by the Elizabeth City Council.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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