Man Suing Boscawen, N.H. For Police Brutality

By peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

BOSCAWEN, N.H. (CBS) — A New Hampshire man is suing the town of Boscawen and a police officer for brutality in connection with his arrest last July.

The confrontation was captured by a security camera inside the sally port of the Merrimack House of Corrections.

The tape shows Officer Daniel Ball removing a handcuffed Chris Smith from the back seat of a police cruiser. It appears Smith says something, and then the officer pushes him up against a concrete wall, then appears to spin him and throw him and smash him against a police cruiser and onto the floor.

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.

The video shows Smith lying on the ground as nurses and an ambulance respond, before Smith is ultimately led into the jail.

Smith’s attorney Rick Lehmann calls it police brutality.

“I’m sure it’s not unusual for people to be a little bit hostile, but Chris Smith weighs about 140 pounds, has his hands cuffed behind his back,” said Lehmann. “Officer Ball weighs about 240, he said when he testified, and there’s no reasonable basis for him to treat my client the way he did. It’s completely ridiculous.”

Smith had been taken into custody after an argument with his girlfriend, for which no charges were filed. Lehmann says Smith was charged with resisting arrest and with criminal mischief for denting the cruiser with his head.

Lehmann says a judge found Smith guilty of resisting, but threw out the mischief charge.

“The video is tough to look at on face value, but there is a lot more to it than what the video is showing,” said Boscawen Police Chief Kevin Wyman.

Wyman was not chief at the time of the incident. Wyman says an internal investigation found Ball did nothing wrong. He says officers are trained to respond aggressively to any resistance. And a judge did find Smith guilty of resisting arrest.

Due to the pending lawsuit, Wyman declined to comment on whether he thinks the force was excessive. Asked if he understands how it may be hard for many to understand how a slightly built handcuffed man poses a threat to a much larger officer, Wyman responded, “Absolutely, and I mean, as I said, the video doesn’t look good, but there’s a lot more there and that’s going to come out when case goes to trial.”

Officer Daniel Ball has since joined another police department. WBZ left a message for him that was not returned.

  • SAM


    • Thomas Hood

      All caps makes your argument so much more convincing too

  • Tom

    Real tough guy smashes some kid around he has 100 lbs on If you cant handle your job quit

  • Taxpayer

    How much of this went on with this cop when no cameras were aroundHe is a big liability to any town

  • officer care

    Officer Ball you are clearly out of line and not in control of your emotions as we a trained to do. No matter what the situation we do not let our anger rule. Perhaps you had a bad day most likely about some else. Chief watch what you say you may go down with him.
    This man will win his law suit because of an out of control officer.

  • emom

    WAIT here is a video , clearly showing the officer dragging the guy out of the back of a cruiser, and immediatly slamming him up to the wal , swinging him around to the rear of the cruise and then turn and swing him to the door and then to the wall again,, It even looks as if his feet could not even get a grip on the ground,, brutality YOU BET, OH AND HE WEIGHS WHAT 240 ,, I WOULD SO SAY THAT IS A BIT OVER WEIGHT LOOK AT THE GUT, SORRY ITS STICKING OUT explain that…. I lknow many of cops that have no gut and are in far better shape, what a disgrace to the uniform and you wonder why we are loosing respect for the uniform. I would so love to hear the rational excuse of how he was resisting arrest… oh another idiot award,,,,

    • papsfan

      That’s how their grown up here. Their called farm boys. You need to be able to handle your own because the closest backup may be 15-20 minutes away if youre lucky! Police all over have guys that size and bigger, there’s no problem with it if it gets the job done!

  • Cynic

    Isn’t that a Classic? ” He dented the cruiser with his head”. Did he also swing his Testicles at the Officers Knee?

  • Cynic

    Video should be outlawed. It is the major cause of Police Brutality.If the carmeas weren’t there there would be no brutality…..Right? None that we would ever hear of anyway.

  • Cynic

    Isn’t Boscawen one of those two street Towns in the Woods up north of Concord?I think they have two Cops and they take turns being Chief.

  • emom

    its the way you grow them what over weight officers, wow, talk about health issues down the line, and to man handle a guy 100 pounds less thats brutatlity,, how in the heck did this guy resist arrest,,, buy saying he wouldnt get out of the car with his hands cuffed behind him. or did he say I am innocent,,, I would like to know what the resist was all about, clearly they dont want to say… the video shows this guy was whipped around and his feet left the ground at least twice you call that not brutal, his face almost hit the outer edge of the door,and just missed a pole.. so how is it he resisted arrest, he didnt even move from what htis video shows… veiw it again and again it it shows excessive force,,,

  • jaygee

    Since I have never heard of this hick town then I must ask the question as to why this story would lead off the 6:00 news on Wed. night? WBZ is in Brighton and they report news about Boston & vicinity so …again…who cares about an incident in Boscawen?

  • Cynic

    jaygee… as this is a problem not only in this town but everywhere it is important.The Police are fairly well insulated from critiism of any sort (How many seeing wrongdoing on the part of a Cop would dare to even suggest to him that he had done anything wrong? How many have any contact with the Police without fear in their Hearts?).Articles such as this are important because maybe for the first time the Police learn that their behavior is unacceptable. As I type this someone is being beaten in some Police Station with ten miles of Boston. Thats Reality.

  • emom

    Gee cynic for once I agree with you, and that the fact it shows that some are out of shape and further more a disgrace to the uniform. So many speak of its a hard job, well maybe it wouldnt be as hard and difficult if they didnt have to huff and puff , injuries on the job would not be a problem and if they had councilors to talk with them maybe some would not get abusive.,,, but we will always have issues with some since this is the real reason we do acts like this make us have no respect for them… And I know not all are like this. maybe those should try and get rid of the ones that give them a bad rep…



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