Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pigs Attack Trade Unionist In His Own Home

He called cops - they beat, cuffed him
Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Jersey City man called cops Monday night when he saw what looked like
burglars on his roof and said he was then badly beaten by arriving
officers, who apparently thought he was a burglar as he ran to the front
door to let them in.

Mathias Bolton, 34, of Palisade Avenue near Bowers Street, suffered a
broken arm, black eye, possibly a broken foot, and many abrasions on his
arms, back and shoulders, as a result of the incident on Monday at 10:11
p.m., he said.

On top of that, Bolton was charged with aggravated assault on a police
officer and resisting arrest, but after he appeared in Central Judicial
Processing Court in Jersey City yesterday, the charges were downgraded to
simple assault and a lesser degree of resisting arrest. The case was
remanded to Municipal Court.

Police Chief Tom Comey said yesterday that there would be an investigation
of the incident.

"I would urge everyone not to rush to judgment," Comey said.

Bolton said he heard a noise on his roof and when he looked out a skylight
saw two men trying to break in, so he called police and was told a car
would be sent. After hanging up he ran downstairs to open the front door
because there is no bell, Bolton said.

"I opened the door and midway up the steps were two thug-looking guys in
jeans and T-shirts, and they looked pretty tough," said Bolton.

In fact, they were plainclothes Police Officers Victor Vargas and Kevin Hill.

Bolton said the two didn't identify themselves or display badges - a point
the officers disputed in the police report of the incident.

"These guys rushed me and I heard sirens in the distance and my first
thought was, these guys might be connected to the burglars," Bolton said.

He said the officers were grabbing him and screaming "Did you call
police?" which Bolton said made him think they were burglars and were
angry at him.

He said the pair were trying to push him back into the building.

Bolton said he braced himself to resist being pushed in and he was punched
in the face a number of times. He was still able to stop them pushing him
in and could hear the sirens getting closer, Bolton said.

When the cruisers arrived, Bolton said, he yelled: "Officer, officer, come
get these guys off me. I need help."

As the uniformed cops approached with night sticks out, he said he figured
those punching him would get beaten, but instead the arriving cops laid
into him, Bolton said.

He told police he was the one who called them but they put him in a police
car as confusion seemed to grow among the officers, Bolton said.

In a police report filed about the incident, the cops said Bolton ran to
the door, looked surprised and was out of breath. The officers said they
identified themselves and had their badges out, and that when they asked
Bolton if he called police and did he need help Bolton responded, "What?"

The police report says Bolton tried to close the door but an officer held
it open and then Bolton punched him in the chest and tried to push his way

They grabbed him and told him they were investigating a burglary and
Bolton replied, "So get the hell off me," and then fell trying to run
away, kicking at Hill and Vargas while down, the reports said.

When the cruiser arrived, the report said, Bolton said: "Get the
(expletive) off me. Who are you guys?"

According to the police report, after the uniformed officers were on the
scene, Bolton said, "OK, I give up. I'm sorry" and was taken to the police
station and then to the hospital for treatment of what the report calls
"minor scrapes."

Bolton is director of research for a union in New York City and has a
master's degree from Rutgers University in industrial management labor
relations, said his Jersey City attorney, John Burke. Bolton said his
father is a retired Paterson police officer.

Police said the officers involved would not comment.

Bolton is to appear in municipal court on Sept. 5.

© 2007 The Jersey Journal
© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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