A Lakewood resident filed a state-court complaint after she was arrested and allegedly assaulted by an RTA police officer in March 2015.
According to the Chandra Law Firm, LLC., Jessica Ferrato alleged Officer Jonathan Pacholke arrested her, and tackled and pinned her to the ground, despite having no reason for the arrest. Ferrato said she repeatedly complied with Pacholke's demands that she show him a valid RTA pass, and she explained that he had no right to detain her.
After an internal investigation, the law firm reported, RTA concluded that it would not proceed with criminal charges against Ferrato, even though Pacholke issued her a citation. The RTA also issued a public apology for Pacholke's conduct and suspended his employment before placing him on a year-long probation for "violating departmental procedures" and "failure to control the situation that led to an escalation of the incident and a use of force, which may have been avoided."
Ferrato's lawsuit is filed in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas and alleged claims for United States constitutional violations, including unlawful seizure and excessive force under the Fourth Amendment, and Ohio-law claims for battery and false arrest. Ferrato is represented by the Chandra Law Firm.
Peter Pattakos of Chandra Law firm said, "Officer Pacholke’s conduct crossed clear constitutional boundaries as to when a police officer is permitted to arrest and use force. It’s a shame that this matter couldn’t be resolved without litigation, but Ms. Ferrato is committed to vindicating her rights and helping to ensure that what happened to her doesn’t happen to others.”