$150K Settlement and Criminal Conviction for Excessive Use of Force by Lancaster, PA Sergeant

On March 8, 2014, an incident occurred that resulted in Steve Widdowson being arrested by Sgt. Ray Corll and charged with Public Drunkenness. During the course of the arrest, Sgt. Corll struck Mr. Widdowson. Widdowson’s friend, Tami Jones, was also cited and arrested for public drunkenness. Widdowson filed a complaint with the Lancaster Bureau of Police (LBP) alleging that the force used by Corll was excessive. The Lancaster Police Bureau investigated and concluded that Mr. Widdowson’s complaint had merit because the force used by Corll was not permitted by Lancaster Police Bureau guidelines.

Detectives with the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office obtained video recordings from the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition cameras which showed Widdowson was in fact walking normally prior to being taken into custody. He also showed no signs of staggering when he was handcuffed behind his back and walking toward a police transport, investigators said. Further video footage captured during processing at the police station also showed Widdowson did not appear to be intoxicated, according to the criminal complaint.

Widdowson filed a lawsuit against Corll in June 2015. The lawsuit was settled out of court in Oct. 2015 for $150,000. Congratulations are due to NPAP member Devon M. Jacob, who represented Widdowson.