WALLINGFORD — A local man plans to sue for damages after a police officer punched him in the head during his arrest earlier this year.
Loughlin Fitzgerald, a personal injury law firm, filed an intent to sue Thursday on behalf of Gary Joseph King.
King, 26, was struck in the head while handcuffed as officers attempted to arrest him during a domestic violence incident on Ward Street on June 14.
The claim notice states that King intends to commence action for personal, physical and psychological injuries and damages and violation of his civil rights.
Police Officer Joseph Smith, who struck King, served a two-week suspension in October after an internal investigation determined it was an excessive use of force.
The incident was corroborated by cruiser-recorded video.
The video shows Smith striking King while struggling to get him into the back of the cruiser.
The blow rendered King unconscious. He was evaluated by emergency crews at the scene and taken to MidState Medical Center.
Police Chief William Wright said last month that King had pulled a knife on one officer and headbutted another during the incident.
King pleaded not guilty to charges of possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana, interfering with an officer/resisting arrest, second-degree breach of peace and failure to comply with a fingerprint request.
He pleaded guilty to felony assault on public safety personnel on Sept. 4, is free on a promise to appear, and is due back in Meriden Superior Court on Monday.
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