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New Britain Herald - Lawyer: Cops hurt discharged patient during search

Posted on May 09 2008

NEW BRITAIN — A neighbor of men charged with molesting a 14-year-old boy and 3-month-old baby was seriously injured by police during a search of his house, according to lawyer A. Paul Spinella of Hartford, who said Thursday he filed a notice of intent to sue police and the city.

Although his client, Andrew Glover, had nothing to do with any sex crime and has a clean record, police ransacked his apartment without showing a warrant and came back a month later and tossed his place again, wrote Spinella, of Spinella & Associates.

The second time, they attacked Glover, just back from the hospital, and ripped a catheter out of his penis before leaving, Spinella said.

Glover’s only crime was living next door to people charged in connection with a heinous sex crime, Spinella said.

The notice of intent to sue the city, chief of police and police officers does not say which officers are accused. Spinella said he has filed a Freedom of Information request for those names and related police reports.

The city’s lawyers could not be reached immediately for comment, and one staff member said the notice had not yet crossed their desks.

Harold Spurling, 39, and Jeffrey Brisson, 29, were living at 237 Washington St., as was Glover, when they were accused Jan. 30 of molesting children and possessing child pornography.

Court officials have not mentioned other suspects, but are looking for other victims.

Glover is claiming extreme emotional distress, harm to reputation, harm to employment and related financial loss and extensive physical injury, including but not limited to intestinal and bodily organs — in particular the urethra and related injuries — “which has resulted in substantial and permanent disability.”

A catheter is a long tube, about a quarter-inch in diameter, with a rubber bulb at the end. It is inflated with an injection of saline solution so it is locked in place, with the bulb sitting inside the patient’s bladder.

If the bulb is not deflated when removed, the damage to the urethra can be painful and bloody.

Police violated Glover’s Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights, among other transgressions, according to Spinella. “Mr. Glover had been hospitalized,” Spinella said. “He returned to [his Washington Street residence] to find two or more police officers. He had a catheter on. The catheter was ripped out. He suffered very serious internal injuries. They trashed the apartment and left him in a medically severe condition without any treatment. They just left without even a goodbye. No arrest. No follow up.”

No fair, according to the notice of intent to sue.

“He has no criminal record,” Spinella continued. “He is a former English professor, a very accomplished man. No criminal activity of any kind.”

Glover’s medical condition was explained to police, Spinella said.

“I consider this a home invasion by the police themselves,” Spinella said.

By law, Glover has two years to file a civil rights lawsuit, but must within six months notify the defendants of his intent to sue.

“Maybe [police] thought he had some connection with the people who were arrested for sex crimes,” Spinella said.

RICK GUINNESS
Herald staff
Rick Guinness can be reached at rguinness(at)newbritainherald(dot)com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 236.