Bridgeport cop sues three Shelton officers, claiming false arrest

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Shelton Police

Shelton Police

Contributed photo

A former Bridgeport Police lieutenant is suing five people, three of them Shelton police officers, seeking monetary damages for what he said is a false arrest at the Shelton Walgreens in May.

John Brenner of Shelton filed the action Wednesday, Aug. 20, against officers Richard Bango, Kevin Corda and Brian Iaucone, along with Walgreens employees Robin Hotchkiss and Roger Adebachi. In the suit, Bango’s name is misspelled as Blango. Brenner, 53, alleges false arrest, unlawful restraint and denial of due process.

All five are being sued individually, according to the suit, and neither the Shelton Police Department nor Walgreens are named as a defendants.

Shelton police had reported in June that Brenner was arrested at his home on charges of second-degree breach of peace and impersonating a police officer, and bond was set at $500 in connection with a May 30 incident at the Walgreens, 700 Bridgeport Ave.

In his suit, Brenner said all criminal charges were dismissed on July 25.

Robert Berke, attorney for Brenner, would not elaborate on the filing, saying that the suit “speaks for itself.”

Shelton Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said the department cannot comment on pending legal matters.

Brenner said he went to Walgreens about 9 p.m. on May 30 when he got into a verbal dispute with Adebachi, a store security guard. Brenner stated that he approached Adebachi, who was wearing a “blue police-type uniform” without any badge, and asked what police department with which he worked.

Brenner said Adebachi got defensive, at which point the Shelton man stated he was a former Bridgeport police officer. Brenner said Adebachi demanded to see his “retired badge,” at which time Brenner produced the badge, paid for his items and left the store.

Brenner states that Adebachi then called police, and when Bango, a Shelton detective, arrived, Hotchkiss, the store manager, “falsely accused (Brenner) of attempting to take items on a prior occasion in August of 2018, after his credit card was declined” and about “lying about being a doctor in August 2018.”

The suit charges that Hotchkiss asked that Brenner be arrested due to the incidents on May 30 and in August of 2018.

Brenner states that the arrest led to “severe emotional distress including great humiliation, strains upon his business, embarrassment, anxiety, stress" as well as loss of income. According to the suit, Brenner’s “distress was foreseeable and severe enough to cause illness or bodily harm.”

In all, Brenner charges the five with false arrest, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and slander, the last of which caused “mental suffering, emotional distress, humiliation and damage to his reputation.”