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More Lawsuit Notices Filed

Over Enfield Officer
Published: 4:58 PM EDT, August 12, 2014

ENFIELD – Two more men have filed notices of their intent to sue the town after confrontations with K-9 Officer Matthew Worden.

There have been four lawsuit notices filed in the past few weeks for incidents involving Worden, who has been the subject of 14 internal affairs investigations over the past seven years, department records indicate.

Twin brothers Ronnie and Frank Salas filed separate notices, each for "unreasonable use of force," according to the notices.

According to police reports, Ronnie Salas was arrested and charged with interfering with officers/ resisting arrest and assault of a public safety officer. Frank Salas was arrested and charged with second degree breach of peace and interfering with officers/ resisting arrest.

The incident happened on Dec. 26, 2011. Ronnie Salas charged that Worden called him racial slurs then grabbed him by the neck, breaking a chain necklace he was wearing, after Salas approached Worden and complained about how the officer treated residents.

Salas said Worden wrestled him to the ground and put his knee into his back, punched him in the face multiple times and then slammed his face into the pavement multiple times.

Ronnie Salas said he didn't submit a complaint because he didn't think police would properly investigate.

Hartford attorney A. Paul Spinella is representing both Salas brothers, as well as Eric Avalos of Hartford and Mark Maher of Vernon, who accuse Worden of police brutality and excessive force, respectfully.

Chief Carl Sferrazza said he was unaware of the allegations and could not comment.

Copyright © 2014, The Hartford Courant