East Otto man suing three deputies for excessive force

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WEB TAG Erie County Sheriff's Office, Cuffs, Siren, Badge_80357

An East Otto man is suing three Erie County deputies, including one already being sued for roughing up someone at a Buffalo Bills game in 2017, for excessive force.

Jeffrey J. Bernhardt’s lawsuit filed Monday states that on June 14, 2018, he was assaulted by deputies John Dunn, Paul Reed and Kenneth P. Achtyl, who is already being sued for a similar allegation and was criminally charged by the district attorney.

Bernhardt’s also accuses them of false arrest and false imprisonment at the holding cell after “an illegal traffic stop” on South Cascade Street in the Town of Springville.

The lawsuit does not provide any specifics of what transpired, but states that the deputies filed various charges against Bernhardt without probable cause or any other justification.

The sheriff’s office declined to comment.

Emily Janicz, Bernhardt’s attorney, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Achtyl is already being sued for excessive force by Nicholas H. Belsito, who was attending a Bills game in 2017 where he said Achtyl attacked him. The bloody encounter was recorded on a cell phone video.

As a result, the district attorney also had Achtyl arraigned in May on two counts of assault, one count of falsifying business records and one count of official misconduct for the incident in 2017 at New Era Field. Jury selection for this case is scheduled for Thursday.

Attorneys representing Achtyl in the Belsito case have said that body camera footage supports his actions that day.

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