Brutality Lawsuit Against Police, Former Mayor’s Son is Moving Forward


The Jersey City Police Department and a former mayor’s son are at the center of a multi-million dollar police brutality lawsuit that alleges a man was beaten so viciously he suffered permanent brain damage.

The allegations stem from a 2012 assault outside Healy’s Tavern on Newark Avenue involving off-duty police officers and the bar’s owner Jeremiah S. Healy, a Jersey City firefighter and son of then-Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

Hector Mejias is seeking damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress for the Sept. 29 incident.

Motions to dismiss the lawsuit were denied by an Essex County Superior Court judge earlier this month. The case was transferred out of Hudson County because at least one person listed in the complaint has a relative working in the Hudson courthouse. The next hearing in the case is Aug. 14.

According to the lawsuit, Mejias was driving home when he saw a group near the bar beating another man in the middle of the street. Mejias told the attackers to stop beating up the victim and said he was going to call the police, the lawsuit says. When he took out his phone, the men doing the beating said they were cops.

Those officers, who were off-duty and are identified in the lawsuit as detectives Chris Heger and Mark D’Ambrosio, appeared “highly intoxicated” and approached Mejias, the suit says.

In the lawsuit Mejias says he went back to his car, but Healy Jr. tried to stop him from driving away. Meijas later bit three of Healy’s fingers in self-defense, the lawsuit said.

Heger and D’Ambrosio ripped Mejias from the vehicle and continued to “beat him and kick him violently,” the lawsuit indicates.

Meijas was brought to the hospital for treatment and was then arrested on assault charges. Officials said a grand jury declined to indict Mejias in April 2013.

Authorities, however, painted a different picture of the incident in 2012. Police reports indicated Mejias hit the off-duty officers while he was trying to defend his friend, who was being subdued by the detectives. Healy tried to take Mejias’ keys so he couldn’t get away from the officers, police said.

Those reports were not accurate and were intentionally “misleading” to “cover up the actions” of Heger, D’Ambrosio and Healy, who lied to the on-duty cops who responded to the fight, the lawsuit claims.

The on-duty officers involved in the alleged cover-up are Stephen Wilson, Samantha Pescatore and Sgt. Timothy Ackerley, the lawsuit said.

Mejias, meanwhile, is permanently disabled because of his injuries. The lawsuit says he suffered a concussion and has developed a seizure disorder. His eye socket was severely damaged and he cannot return to his job as a truck driver, the filings state.

He says Seagal’s career in action films hasn’t affected his work with law enforcement.

The lawsuit also wants Healy’s Tavern held accountable for allegedly serving alcohol to Heger and D’Ambrosio, who were already drunk. Judy Taboada, the attorney representing the tavern and Healy, did not return a call seeking comments on the lawsuit.

Mejias’ attorney Mario Blanch declined to discuss the specifics of the lawsuit, but said the “actions of the Jersey City Police Department were aggressive and heinous” and Mejias is looking forward to his day in court.

While the West New York attorney could not discuss how much money Mejias is seeking, filings indicate the lawsuit will not exceed $10 million.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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