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Man suing Seabrook over police brutality wants his case to be 'private'

Union Leader Correspondent

January 16. 2018 11:42PM

In this image taken from video, Officer Mark Richardson is seen throwing Michael J. Bergeron Jr. against a wall while he was being booked after his arrest on Nov. 11, 2009. 

BRENTWOOD — A man who filed a $500 million lawsuit after he was slammed into a wall while in custody at the Seabrook police station has asked the court to make his case “private” unless he says otherwise.

Michael Bergeron Jr., who is representing himself, filed a motion for a “private case,” claiming that he’s being discriminated against and attacked because of the litigation.

“I am a victim here and shouldn’t be subject to any more victimization that is stealing my right to have liberty feeling and being able to act like a normal human being in public,” the 26-year-old Seabrook man wrote in his recent motion filed in Rockingham County Superior Court in which he identified himself as a “public figure.”

The town has asked that the case be dismissed, saying it denies liability and any negligence or wrongdoing in the operation or supervision of the police department.

Bergeron’s handwritten lawsuit claims the town was negligent because of the actions of Mark Richardson, who pleaded guilty to simple assault by an on-duty law enforcement officer in 2015.

Richardson pushed Bergeron head-first into the wall while he was being brought to a holding cell after his arrest on drunken driving and marijuana possession charges. The incident was captured on police station cameras and also showed former Seabrook officer Adam Laurent pepper-spraying Bergeron after he fell to the floor.

Richardson and Laurent lost their jobs. Another officer, Keith Dietenhofer, was suspended for two days while Lt. John Wasson was demoted.

Richardson was also charged with simple assault and after a mistrial pleaded guilty and spent 21 days in jail.

In addition to his request to make his court proceedings private, Bergeron also filed a motion asking the court to redact the portion of his lawsuit in which he stated that he was seeking $500 million in damages. He wrote that he “unknowingly added the damages when I shouldn’t have.”

Bergeron added, “The amount of damages is not the main focus here; the main focus is the wrongful actions of others and the cause of harm, not the actual amount of damages caused. I feel the publications of the damages alone has caused the case an unjust lean by misleading of the true case at hand.”

A show cause hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Courts Seabrook

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