Excess Force by Officer?

By Jessica Toumani

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 29, 2007 at 11:48 PM EDT

A case of mistaken identity leaves a woman recovering from bruises, she says, came from rough treatment by a Fort Wayne Police Officer.

Lorie Squadrito's says her bruises are healing, but her fears surrounding an officer she describes as "off the hook" remain.

Squadrito and her boyfriend Chad Rybolt were dining at Fricker's Saturday night when restaurant staff noticed a frame was missing. A manager approached Rybolt, asking if he knew where the frame was, Rybolt said 'no' still, the manager wrote down his plate number. Around 1 AM, Rybolt says two officers came to his door, one demanding to speak with Squadrito, the other, searching the home no warrant in hand.

"I was crying 'what's going on', didn't even have my flip flops on , pushed me into the wall, told me I'm going to jail," says Squadrito.

Squadrito says she wasn't read her rights and when she complained her handcuffs were too tight, things got even worse .

"He said, 'if you think that hurts what do u think about this' and he hit the breaks real hard and I slammed into a cage between myself and the officer," says Squadrito.

They stopped at Fricker's, where Squadrito says the officer shined a light on her, asking witnesses whether she was the thief.

"I said 'where am I going,' he said, 'you're going to answer to the courts,' he kept saying 'that's where they take thieves," says Squadrito.

Morales would know, ten years ago, he was caught stealing while on duty, suspended for 90 days and forced to undergo counseling. Still shaken, Squadrito says maybe he needs a refresher, explaining the last blow of the night came when Morales shoved her out of the car in front of her home.

"I was in the bedroom crying, I was shaking like a leaf, I've never been in trouble, never been through anything like that," says Squadrito, who was married to a Fort Wayne officer for fifteen years, and who's ex-father-in-law was at one point the Allen County Sheriff.

After a few phone calls, the couple described what happened to a Sergeant who then spoke with morales.

"The sergeant called and said the particular officer was beside himself, crying, upset," says Squadrito.

After getting permission from the couple, accompanied by Sgt. Sam Taylor, the couple says officer Scott Morales showed up at their home again, this time to apologize.

"He came in, took his glasses off, started crying and saying what he did was wrong, he had a bad day, and gave us a lot of personal reasons," says Squadrito.

Reasons, this couple says aren't good enough. They contacted the Fort Wayne Police Department's Internal Affairs office, but say they're still waiting to hear back and were told internal affairs had already received a report from the department itself.

"Something needs to happen, he had a bad day and if something doesn't happen, tomorrow could be worse and someone gets hurt really bad," says Rybolt.

Officials with FWPD won't comment until the investigation is complete.

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