Scott Matalon, owner of Stingray Body Art, yesterday filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city of Boston and several Boston police officers he says burst into his home while he was sleeping on Sept. 29, 2010, saying they were investigating a robbery and that when he objected, tackled him, forced him to the floor and then arrested him.
Matalon is seeking compensation for the $56,000 in legal bills he says he incurred successfully fighting charges of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest - but also to force the Boston Police Department to better train its officers.
Matalon's suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, says he was asleep around 11 a.m. on the third floor of his Farrington Avenue home when he heard his two parrots squawking and a dog barking. He doesn't own a dog, and when he went down to investigate, found two police officers and a dog inside, allegedly investigating a robbery at a nearby business.
Matalon says the officers directed him to his own porch, where one began screaming at him for not answering their inquiries from outside; he told them he'd been asleep.
Plaintiff requested that the police close the door to ensure the safety of his parrots. They refused.
Defendant O'Neil and the plaintiff engaged in further conversation during which O'Neil criticized the plaintiff's "attitude."
Plaintiff asked the police how long he would be interrogated.
O'Neil told him to "shut up."
Plaintiff responded to being told to shut up by asserting his rights to speak in his own home.
At that point, plaintiff was tackled, forced to the floor and placed under arrest.
During the arrest, his arms were twisted extensively and he was slammed face first on the ground.
Officer Hynes screamed at plaintiff and called him a "f.ing piece of s..t" Plaintiff was left face down on the porch for approximately ten minutes.
Plaintiff was taken to a police station, booked and charged with crimes.