By: MIKAELA PORTER and DAVE ALTIMARI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: October 22, 2014, 5:21 PM
Former Enfield officer Matthew Worden, recently fired by department, appeals decision in wake of ninth notice
ENFIELD – Former K-9 officer Matthew Worden will appeal the town's decision to fire him, according to grievance documents Worden filed with the town on Oct. 8.
Patrol officer Jaime Yott, suspended for 60 days, has also filed a formal grievance regarding her suspension.
The town fired Worden and suspended Yott and another officer, Michael Emons, after an April 1 arrest resulted in allegations the officers used excessive force.
Worden and Yott argue in the grievance filings that they should be reinstated and compensated for any loss of wages.
Since the town denied Worden and Yott's requests, according to the town's human resource director Steven Bielenda, the appeals will go to the Department of Labor's State Board of Mediation and Arbitration.
Worden is named in a number of lawsuit notices filed with the town. The latest involves an incident on Christmas Day in 2012 when Worden and Yott responded to a home on a medical assistance call.
According to the notice, a family member of Tyler Damato's called police for assistance in having him transferred to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Damato had been in a car accident a few months earlier and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Attorney A. Paul Spinella, who is representing the family, said police were told of Tyler's condition before they got to the house.
While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Damato came out of the house and, Spinella said, "was suddenly assaulted by Officer Worden who tackled Damato from behind, slamming his head into the curb several times."
The notice, filed by Amie Olschafskie the adminstratix of Damato's estate, claims the injuries that Damato suffered from that incident helped lead to his death six weeks later. Damato died a few days after a second car accident in February 2013.
"But for the attack by Worden he would not have died a few months later," Spinella said. "In my mind it is just another in long continuing series of cruel acts. This one is more shocking because it was Christmas Day right in front of the whole neighborhood."
The Damato case is the ninth notice of intent to sue the town filed by Spinella alleging police brutality by Worden. No lawsuits have been filed yet.
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