MERIDEN, Conn. — A former Meriden police officer who pushed a handcuffed suspect who fell and fractured his skull in a police department jail cell in 2010 has settled a brutality lawsuit.
Former officer Evan Cossette, son of Police Chief Jeffry Cossette, settled with Meriden resident Pedro Temich, according to court records filed last week in federal court in Hartford.
Terms were not disclosed. Lawyers in the case declined to comment Monday.
The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras in the police department lockup. Video shows Cossette pushing Temich, who then falls and hits his head on a concrete bench in the cell. It also shows Cossette, after Temich fell, repositioning him several times but not giving him medical care or calling for help.
Temich lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital, where he received 12 staples to his head and was diagnosed with a skull fracture, according to Temich’s lawsuit.
Federal authorities charged Cossette with using unreasonable force and obstructing a federal investigation by filing a false report. He was convicted of both charges in 2013 and sentenced to 14 months in prison. He resigned from the police force after being found guilty.
Cossette, who is 6-foot-1, said he was defending himself when he pushed Temich, who is a foot shorter than Cossette. He testified during the criminal trial that he believed Temich was about to head-butt him.
Cossette also said the video was doctored to leave out several seconds that would show Temich failing to obey his orders to sit down — which prosecutors denied.
Temich’s lawsuit accused Cossette of using excessive force and violating his constitutional rights.