Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

VIDEO: Philly cop charged with false imprisonment of war veteran

Officer Kevin Corcoran
Officer Kevin Corcoran Philadelphia Police
Story Highlights
  • Kevin Corcoran was charged Wednesday with false imprisonment.
  • A war veteran pointed out that Corcoran was driving the wrong direction on a one-way.
  • He was also charged with obstructing administration of law and official oppression.

A Philadelphia police officer was suspended with intent to dismiss after being charged with false imprisonment and other counts in a 2013 arrest of an Operation Iraqi Freedom war veteran who had pointed out the officer was driving the wrong direction on a one-way street.

The vet, who served in the U.S. Air Force, has filed a $1 million suit against the city claiming unlawful search and seizure, assault and battery, and multiple violations of Constitutional rights. 

The officer, Kevin Corcoran, has been named in other federal suits alleging police brutality. 

Corcoran, 33, was on duty about 2 a.m. last Marchg 31 when he encountered a group of people at 13th and Lombard Streets. A man in the group “commented that P/O Corcoran had made an illegal turn,” according to a statement from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office.

More coverage
  • VIDEO (WARNING - Graphic language): Cop manhandles Iraq War vet
  • Temple student sues cops over photo incident
  • Disgraced ex-cop refuses to plead guilty
  • Corcoran came closer to the group in his cruiser, got out and yelled at them, prompting several in the party to pull out their cell phones and record the encounter, the D.A.'s office said.

    Corcoran, a 9-year veteran of the force, slapped one of the cell phones out of a person’s hand, stating “Don’t f##?!g touch me,” according to the D.A.’s office.

    Corcoran pressed on, approaching the man who backed up with his hands up, making no contact with the officer.

    The officer shoved the man, “grabbed him by the chest, threw him against the side of his police vehicle, handcuffed him and threw him in to the back of his vehicle. Corcoran then sped off with the victim in the back seat,” said the D.A.’s office.

    The entire incident was captured on video.

    Corcoran drove north and soon after pulled onto a street off North Broad.

    When the victim asked why he was being arrested, Corcoran claimed it was for public intoxication.

    Corcoran did not fill out any documents citing the man for public intoxication and had no evidence that could prove the man was intoxicated, the D.A. said. 

    The man, who had never been arrested before, told Corcoran he was vet. Corcoran had a change of heart and returned the man to 13th and Rodman Streets, where he uncuffed the man and released him without charges.

    Corcoran surrendered himself to Internal Affairs this morning. In addition to the false imprisonment count, Corcoran was charged with obstructing the administration of law and official oppression. 

    Previously, Corcoran was sued in U.S. District Court for allegedly entering a home on 1630 S. Taney Street without a warrant in Nov. 2008 and beating up a resident, leaving the man with two broken vertebrae, a broken nose and a broken eye socket.

    Corcoran was sued in federal court for the Nov. 2009 beating of a South Philadelphia man who Corcoran and another officer "kicked, stomped, beat, punched and otherwise assaulted" leaving the man with broken bones and requiring stitched; in May 2011, Corcoran allegedly arrested a man without probable cause at 21st and Latona Street and "violently man handled" the man. 

    The 2008 and 2009 cases were dismissed with prejudice by federal judges and the 2011 case remains open.

    In addition, at least two civil lawsuits have been brought against Corcoran in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

    In one suit, filed in June 2009, Corcoran was accused of striking a Grays Ferry man in the face, causing a “blowout” fracture of the his orbital bone, then falsely accusing the man of assault and possessing a controlled substance.

    In a second, unrelated suit, filed six months later, Corcoran was accused of beating a Willow Grove man and throwing him headfirst into a newspaper box during a disorderly conduct arrest.

    In each case, the defendant was eventually cleared in court of criminal charges.

    Both suits were settled for an undisclosed amount in 2010, before they went to trial.


    Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com. Follow @samwoodiii on Twitter.

    Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

    Sam Wood PHILLY.COM
    Also on Philly.com
    Stay Connected