Cop files suit against neighboring police department

A Colwyn cop claims in a federal civil rights law suit that officers from neighboring Darby Borough, including the police chief, assaulted him and called him racially-derogatory names because he assisted a man who was beaten in their jurisdiction and held the assailant until Darby police arrived.

The March 18, 2011 incident was captured on video by a civilian, and though much of the action is obscured by a vehicle, at one point in the video an officer can be heard repeatedly yelling "Get the f*** out of Darby!"

Colwyn Ofc. Clinton Craddock said he was in a marked car in Colwyn when a woman flagged him down and told him a man had been assaulted and was unconscious two blocks away, according to the suit.

Craddock claims he went to the scene, which was in Darby, and was able to apprehend the assailant and hold him until Darby police arrived.

He claims he was sitting in his Colwyn police cruiser with the door open and one leg out of the car when Darby police Chief Robert Smythe arrived on scene and began yelling at him to not come in the town again, the suit said. Craddock, who is black, claims Smythe, who is white, called him a racially-derogatory name and then slammed his car door on his leg.

Craddock claims other Darby cops at the scene, all of whom were white, failed to come to his aid.

As a result of the encounter, Craddock claims Darby cops jammed his radio frequencies to prevent him from contacting police dispatchers, the suit said. He also believes several harassing phone calls he received after the incident may have come from Darby cops.

According to the suit, Craddock believes the treatment he received was based on his race. As a result of the encounter, he claims he's suffered pain, humiliation, a twitching eye, shakes and hair loss.

The 26-page suit is riddled with grammatical errors, including the repeated misspeling of Smythe's name. One section of the suit reads "It is conduct so shocking under the circumstances as to make a person who see or hear of the conduct to exclaim 'shocking.'"

(Brian Puricelli, the lawyer who filed this typo-ridden lawsuit on behalf of Ofc. Clinton Craddock, has been written up in the New York Times before for his poor writing. I especially like the part where Puricelli called the local federal district court the "United States District Court for the Easter District of Pennsylvania.")

Smythe did not immediately return a request for comment. The Delaware County District Attorney's Office, which launched an investigation in to the incident, also did not immediately return a request for comment as to the status of the investigation.