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Enfield Settles Fourth Police Brutality Lawsuit In Three Months

An eighth lawsuit has been filed against the town, police department and several officers alleging police brutality and excessive force during an arrest.

By Mikaela Porter, Hartford Courant
Published: November 15, 2016

Town councilors have settled the fourth police brutality lawsuit that names former Officer Matthew Worden.

Councilors did not indicate for how much the town's insurance provider CIRMA settled the lawsuit, filed by Zachary Trowbridge of Milo, Maine.

They voted 8-3 on Monday night to approve the settlement. Mayor Scott Kaupin and councilors William "Red" Edgar and Carol Hall voted against it.

Edgar, during the meeting, said he would vote against the settlement because it was not transparent to the public how much the settlement was.

Town Manager Bryan Chodkowski said that the town pays $25,000 to CIRMA for each lawsuit settlement. Chodkowski said any additional costs associated with the settlements would be paid by CIRMA.

In Trowbridge's case, Worden and at least three other officers went to a Main Street apartment in Somers to serve arrest warrants to Trowbridge and his brother Joshua in August 2013. Zachary Trowbridge was wanted on warrant for failure to appear in court issued by state police, court records show.

Worden, in a police report, wrote that he knew the Trowbridge brothers lived there because he had arrested them there for warrants within two months of the Aug. 31 arrest. Worden also said he was in "constant contact" with neighbors and providing updates as to when Joshua and Zachary were home.

Two officers knocked on the front door to the apartment while Worden, his dog Falco and another officer went around to the back of the apartment, according to the report. The two brothers ran out the back door and Worden ordered them to stop. Worden, in the report, said that only Joshua stopped, and that he released the dog to track down Zachary.

"K-9 Falco maintained a bite and hold on Zachary's right lower leg," Worden said in his report. "Zachary fought with K-9 Falco initially, pushing on his head and reaching toward Falco's throat."

Worden said in the report that Falco's bite lasted "approximately 10 seconds."

Zachary Trowbridge, in the lawsuit, claimed that he "stopped and raised his hands" and that he was standing still when Worden issued a command to the dog. The lawsuit claimed that Trowbridge "suffered dog bites, abrasions and scratches to his body, primarily on his right leg."

Trowbridge's is the fourth of 11 police brutality lawsuits filed against the town that have been settled since late August.

Worden was fired in October 2014, but in February 2015 the town changed his status to resigned.