former Salem police officer Joseph Freda

Oct 3, 2015 9:54 AM

Maine man sues town of Salem and former officer over assault

BRENTWOOD — The town of Salem and a former police officer are the subject of a lawsuit filed by a Maine man who was assaulted after he was pulled over following a high-speed chase.

Former Salem officer Joseph Freda, 34, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after admitting he had hit Thomas Templeton, of York, in the head with a flashlight twice after a high-speed chase through Windham, Salem and I-93 and then stepped on his hands after he was handcuffed. Templeton was sentenced last March to a year in jail in connection with the chase on Oct. 6, 2013.

According to the Union Leader, the lawsuit alleges that Templeton “has suffered permanent physical, mental and emotional injury and pain, mental anguish, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, medical and other expenses.”

The lawsuit also blames the town for allegedly failing to properly screen, hire and train their employees.

Templeton received five staples to close his wounds. He had complained to other officers on the scene about police brutality, according to prosecutors.

Freda, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, later apologized when he was sentenced in court, saying he was embarrassed by his behavior on the night of the assault. His defense attorney said Freda suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder but never sought treatment.


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