WATCH: Rotterdam Family to Get $360K After Police Broke Son’s Arm

Rotterdam, New York – Town police say they are retraining their officers on how to handle emotionally disturbed people after settling a federal civil rights lawsuit for $360,000 with the family of a teen whose arm was broken in 2013 when two cops tried to drag him off a school bus.

The department also is in the process of retraining all of its officers on the use of force, Deputy Chief Bill Manikas said. “We are an accredited agency,” he said. “We comply with all the regulations of the state.”

The retraining comes after an Oct. 9, 2013, incident caught on a school bus camera. Two officers talked to Jacob Gocheski for about 15 minutes as he sat alone two rows behind the empty driver’s seat. The video shows the officers bending the 16-year-old’s arm behind his back, and a cracking sound can be heard as the boy’s arm shattered between the shoulder and elbow.

In a statement, Jacob Gocheski’s parents, Phillip and Rosemarie Gocheski, said they hoped public monies would be better spent in the future on police training to avoid what happened to their son.

“The emotionally disturbed are almost uniformly looked at by police through the same lens as criminals, and many police are not given the tools to distinguish between criminal behavior and non-criminal emotional disorders,” the couple said.

The Gocheskis said they learned that, despite what the police chief said, his department did not have any policies, plan or training for its officers on how to handle the emotionally disabled.

“With or without training, we feel that no police officer should feel the need to break someone’s arm in such a manner as was done to our son in order to remove him from a school bus,” the couple said. The family was represented by Kevin A. Luibrand.

Rotterdam Supervisor Harry Buffardi said Monday that the suit against the police force will be covered by the insurance company. The town is responsible for the $5,000 deductible.

“I’m glad it’s settled,” Buffardi said. “It was an unfortunate lawsuit for both sides, the town and the Gocheski family, and I’m happy it’s over.”

Manikas, the deputy chief, said he could not comment on the settlement because the department is still waiting for copies from the insurance company. The two officers, Sgt. Daniel Ryan and Officer Ronald Armstrong, remain on duty and will be retrained with the other officers, Manikas said.

The claim, filed by the Gocheskis on behalf of their son, states Jacob was diagnosed with multiple emotional disorders, including Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety, bipolar disorder and pervasive development disorder.

Police were called after the bus driver said he felt he could not safely transport Gocheski to school at Parsons Child and Family Center, “based on threats that the student made in an aggressive manner,” police have said.

The complaint alleges that the teenager’s “injuries and deprivation of rights … were the result of the town’s negligence and deliberate indifference to the plight of the emotionally disturbed in failing to properly hire, screen, train and supervise its employees and police officers with respect to the proper techniques necessary to secure a person in mental distress.”

Luibrand previously said the teenager’s medications were being adjusted at the time, limiting his ability to move.

Gocheski was charged with obstructing governmental administration, a misdemeanor, but the case was later dismissed in Rotterdam Town Court. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment after being removed from the bus.