Sauget sues man arrested at Pop's over officer's injuries

Kelly Holleran Sep. 13, 2011, 3:54pm

The Village of Sauget wants the court to order a man to repay it the more than $90,000 in workers' compensation it had to pay to a police officer after the man resisted arrest.

The Village of Sauget filed a lawsuit in Cook County Sept. 10 against Justin M. Cerulo. The complaint was later transferred to St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In its complaint, the village alleges one of its officers, David Cleveland, was injured on Sept. 11, 2008, when Cerulo resisted arrest.

Cleveland was called to Pops Saloon at 1403 Mississippi Avenue at about 10:12 p.m. where he found Cerulo struggling with security at the establishment, according to the complaint.

A fellow officer told Cerulo to stop resisting the security, the suit states. When Cerulo complied with the policeman's request, the officer began approaching him. At that point, Cerulo took off, the suit states.

The Sauget officer caught up with Cerulo, but he, Cleveland and another officer struggled to arrest him, the complaint says.

"All officers had to struggle with Cerulo as he was physically resisting our efforts by swinging his arms and kicking at us," the suit states. "After an approximate thirty second struggle, Cerulo was placed to the ground and held by myself and Mundy while Sgt. Cleveland handcuffed him."

During the incident, Cleveland was injured. The Village of Sauget, through workers' compensation, has had to pay Cleveland $94,570.56 for temporary total disability, it claims.

The Village of Sauget seeks an unspecified judgment, plus other relief the court deems just.

James M. Messineo and Associates in Inverness will be representing it.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-435.

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