New Philadelphia settles federal lawsuit over police officer punch, court records show

A civil lawsuit filed by a man who was punched by a New Philadelphia police officer has been settled in U.S. District Court, according to online court records.

A report filed Wednesday indicates both sides are to file a joint entry of dismissal within 30 days, according to an entry signed by Magistrate Judge Amanda M. Knapp on Tuesday. The order says the case is to be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.

An in-person mediation conference was held Tuesday. Court records show the total time was four hours and 40 minutes.

More:Suit over officer punching suspect transferred to federal court

In the civil suit, Steven M. Reffett alleged that Officer Chad Dorsey used "extreme and unjustified force" against him, causing "great physical harm."

More:Officer, police chief, city sued for officer punching suspect

He was seeking money and other relief for assault and battery, willful, reckless and wanton conduct, pain, suffering and emotional distress. The suit claimed Reffett's constitutional rights were violated.

Dorsey, the city of New Philadelphia and Police Chief Michael Goodwin were named as defendants in the case arising from an incident on May 24, 2020, when police went to Reffett’s home in the 300 block of Tuscarawas Avenue NW in response to a fireworks complaint.

Reffett, now 44, was handcuffed when he called Dorsey a "pig" and spat at him. Dorsey responded with a punch to Reffett's jaw, an exchange recorded by a witness. The video was shared through social media.

The lawsuit alleged that Dorsey hit Reffett without cause or provocation, kicked him and struck him all over his body.

Goodwin said previously that Dorsey was not disciplined for the incident.

Reffett pleaded guilty to harassment with a bodily substance. Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos gave him two years of probation and reserved an eight-month prison sentence.

More:Man pleads guilty to charge of harassment with a bodily substance

Attorney John T. McLandrich of Solon is representing the city and its employees. Attorney John P.M. Rutan of Columbus is representing Reffett.

The Times-Reporter asked legal representatives of the city and the plaintiff for terms of the settlement. New Philadelphia Law Director Marvin Fete said he will provide the court entry to the newspaper once it is filed.

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On Twitter: @nmolnarTR

This article originally appeared on The Times-Reporter: New Philadelphia settles Steven Reffett federal lawsuit over punch