2 Bridgeport officers suspended in probe of party arrests

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport police suspended two officers accused of excessive force while making arrests at a wild birthday party on Oct. 21.

"As each officer was walking over there, it looked like they were just kicking them, hitting and kicking them for no reason," says Tameka Baxter, a neighbor.

The department placed Sgt. Paul Scillia and Officer Thomas Lattanzio on paid leave pending its investigation.

The two responded to a noise complaint at a 12-year-old's birthday party at 316 Colorado Ave. and arrested several allegedly drunken and rowdy adults.

But during the encounter, neighbors accuse the two of dragging a 63-year-old woman down a flight of stairs.

"It seems like they reacted incredibly violent to a situation that didn't warrant anywhere near that kind of force," says Robert Berke, an attorney for the partygoers. "I had one client that was struck several times in the head."

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez says internal affairs is looking into the incident.

"We'll see where it goes," he says.

Later that night, lawyers say another incident involved several University of Bridgeport students allegedly throwing bottles at officers. In that instance, the officers are accused of pepper spraying the crowd.

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