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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nashua woman sues city, police officers over 2011 arrest

NASHUA – A woman arrested in downtown Nashua three years ago is suing the city and the Nashua Police Department claiming officers used excessive force during her arrest and that police officials maliciously prosecuted her.

The suit was filed by Pamela Reynolds in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua last month. The city’s attorney, Brian Cullen of CullenCollimore in Nashua, filed paperwork Friday to move the case to U.S. District Court in Concord. ...

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NASHUA – A woman arrested in downtown Nashua three years ago is suing the city and the Nashua Police Department claiming officers used excessive force during her arrest and that police officials maliciously prosecuted her.

The suit was filed by Pamela Reynolds in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua last month. The city’s attorney, Brian Cullen of CullenCollimore in Nashua, filed paperwork Friday to move the case to U.S. District Court in Concord.

Reynolds was arrested on July 1, 2011, when she was part of a small group of people socializing in a small park near Railroad Square on Canal Street.

According to her lawsuit, someone in the group shouted something at a passing police cruiser and a dispute ensued between detective Sgt. Daniel Archambeault and Michael Gannon. Gannon videotaped the encounter with his cellphone and gave the phone to Reynolds as he was being arrested.

Reynolds tossed the phone into some bushes and was walking away when she was stopped by officer Andrew Roy. When Reynolds asked to hand her dog’s leash to another person and why she was being arrested, Roy used pepper spray on her, pushed her to the ground and yanked her arms behind her back, according to the suit.

Reynolds was charged with resisting arrest and felony falsifying physical evidence. The felony charge was dropped a few months later and she was found not guilty following a jury trial the following February, according to the suit.

Reynolds continues to suffer health effects, generating ongoing medical bills as a result of the encounter, along with “mental anguish and emotion(al) damages,” according to her suit seeking damages.

Reynolds’ lawsuit claims malicious prosecution and excessive force under state and federal laws as well as a violation of her U.S. Constitutional rights against illegal search and seizure.

Police gave a different version of events at the time of Reynolds and Gannon’s arrests, saying Gannon was standing in the street yelling and swearing and continued to do so after being warned by officers to stop. He was charged with disorderly conduct, simple assault on a police officer and resisting arrest following the confrontation.

A Nashua district court judge convicted Gannon on all three charges and that decision was upheld on appeal by a superior court jury in 2013.

Reynold’s attorney, Steven Maynard of Maynard and Donovan in Nashua, declined to comment on the case. He said it is the city’s right to move the case to the federal court.

“In either court, I’m sure we’ll get a fair trial,” he said.

Police Chief John Seusing declined to comment citing the ongoing litigation, and Cullen was unavailable for comment.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote
on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).