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Smashing pumpkins didn’t justify broken nose, man suing police says

An off-duty Pittsburgh police officer on Nov. 10, 2012, broke the nose of a teenager who was vandalizing Halloween decorations, he says in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Shane McGuire, 18, address unavailable, says in the lawsuit filed Friday that he was with a group of teens who were smashing pumpkins and committing other acts of minor vandalism in Homestead.

When Officer Colby J. Neidig realized they had damaged a pumpkin on his lawn, he chased the group, caught McGuire and beat him, the lawsuit says.

“Obviously, what he did was a stupid thing, as kids do on occasion, but you don’t expect to be beaten for it,” said Mark Eck, McGuire’s lawyer.

McGuire is suing the city, Neidig and Officer David Blatt for excessive force, false arrest and other constitutional claims. Blatt conspired with Neidig to file criminal charges against McGuire that were dismissed in juvenile court, the lawsuit says.

“He had to go through a long process with the officers fighting it, but they were (dismissed),” Eck said.

City Solicitor Lourdes Sanchez Ridge couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


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