State & Region Briefs

Friday, March 09, 2018
City settles police brutality lawsuit for $140,000

GARDNER — A man who says he suffered spinal fractures and a collapsed lung when he was slammed to the ground by a Gardner police officer has settled his lawsuit against the city for $140,000.

Richard Smith sued the city of Gardner, alleging police used excessive force in his 2011 arrest for allegedly siphoning gas.

Smith claims Officer Jesse Gadarowski threw him to the ground twice, knocking him unconscious and causing numerous injuries. Smith was hospitalized for nearly a month and his medical bills totaled almost $100,000.

Gadarowski, now a state trooper, testified that he tackled Smith to keep him from getting away.

State lost jobs in Jan. but has same unemployment rate

BOSTON — The unemployment rate in Massachusetts held steady at 3.5 percent in January while preliminary estimates show the state lost more than 6,000 jobs during the month.

That’s according to the latest figures released Friday by the state office of Labor and Workforce Development and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The overall jobless rate was unchanged from December and Massachusetts remained more than a half percentage point below the U.S. unemployment rate.

Massachusetts labor secretary Rosalin Acosta says the state’s labor force is expanding and the overall health of its economy remains strong.

The state’s February jobs report will be released later this month.

Man charged with manslaughter for police chase crash

GROTON, Conn. — A man police say was driving a vehicle stolen out of Vermont when he caused a fatal crash during a high-speed police chase in Connecticut is now facing a manslaughter charge.

Connecticut State Police say 27-year-old Valery Labossiere, of Medford, ran a red light and hit another vehicle in Groton on March 30, 2017. A passenger in the other vehicle, 22-year-old Deion Anthony Pittman, of Waterford, was killed.

Police say Labossiere was driving nearly 100 mph in a pickup truck that had been reported stolen in Newbury, Vermont.

He was charged with theft and reckless driving after the crash. The Day reports that the manslaughter charge was added this week.

Bail was set at $300,000. His lawyer could not immediately be determined.

Lawyer asks for statement dismissal in homicide case

BARNSTABLE — An attorney for a man charged with fatally stabbing his wife last year has asked a judge to dismiss as evidence some statements he made to police.

Christopher Fratantonio is charged with murder in the February 2017 death of 35-year-old Mary Fratantonio in their Barnstable home, while their children, ages 6 and 2 at the time, were inside.

The Cape Cod Times reports that his attorney argued Thursday that multiple statements he made to police after his arrest should be barred from trial because there is no evidence he knowingly waived his Miranda rights.

His lawyer says the 37-year-old Fratantonio has a 10th-grade education and no experience with the criminal justice system.

Prosecutors countered that investigators took the proper measures when questioning Fratantonio.

The judge did not immediately rule.

From Associated Press