Man says 13 Woodbridge officers beat him in a case of mistaken ID
WOODBRIDGE — A Middlesex County man is suing this township and specific members of the police department, saying more than a dozen responding officers beat him in a case of mistaken identity inside a QuickChek store.
In April 2019, Jeremiah Daniels-Porter, of Carteret, was at the convenience store then located at 475 Rahway Ave. Store workers misidentified him for a different person who had been banned from the business. They called police while Daniels-Porter was using a restroom, according to the lawsuit, which was first reported by MyCentralJersey.com.
Police Officers Hector Rivera and William Petrovey questioned Daniels-Porter when he came out of the restroom. He says he objected as there was no probable cause to stop or detain him.
In response, the suit says, Rivera and Petrovey tackled him to the ground and hit him repeatedly.
While Daniels-Porter was already held on the ground by the first two officers, at least another 11 police officers arrived and began to “pile onto and brutalize” him, according to the lawsuit.
Those officers included James Farese, Andrew Ferreira, Carlos Villegas, Jake Fasano, Michael Delli Santi, Adrian Valentino, James Distelcamp, Jeian Rastegarpanah, David Ricardo, Philip Agosta, Richard Hilliard, named as defendants in the suit, which says several more officers may also have been involved.
Daniels-Porter was taken to a hospital and suffered serious and permanent injuries to his head, limbs and body, according to the lawsuit.
He also says he is dealing with long-term emotional distress due to the use of excessive force and mistaken arrest.
In detailing its claims of violated civil rights, the lawsuit says Woodbridge is responsible for training police officers in the use of force and is responsible for conducting internal affairs investigations.
When asked for comment on Tuesday, a spokesman said the township is prevented from offering comment on pending litigation.