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Ambridge man's suit alleges civil-rights violations

| Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010

An Ambridge man filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit Tuesday against the Beaver County borough and its police officers for an altercation last year that led to a federal prosecution of two of the officers.

David A. Baker says in the lawsuit that retired Officer Richard Heitzenrater and other officers had a history of violence and abusing their authority. His lawsuit names Lt. Robert Kuzma, the other officer who faces charges over the incident, and the officer who originally arrested him for urinating in front of two children.

A federal grand jury indicted the officers, accusing Heitzenrater of striking and kneeing Baker, and both officers of destroying data on the department's video system.

Jim Ross, attorney for Heitzenrater, said he had no comment on the civil case because of the pending criminal charges. Attorneys for Kuzma and the borough couldn't be reached.

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