New York Post
September 25, 2003

JURY AWARDS 514G TO COP-MELEE FAMILY

By Kati Cornell Smith and Larry Celona

Members of a Brooklyn family arrested during a tangle with cops at their home won the latest round yesterday when a federal jury awarded them more than half a million dollars.

Jurors found that cops were wrong to barge into the Connelly house and arrest Christopher, 31, his brother, Charles Jr., 33, and their mother, Diane, 58, on Dec. 27, 1994 - awarding $514,000 for charges including use of excessive force and malicious prosecution.

"Our day in court, that is what this whole thing was about," Diane said outside the Brooklyn federal courthouse. She and her husband Charles Sr., 62, previously turned down a $300,000 offer.

The cops claim the family put up a fight when police went looking for Christopher, who allegedly had tried to run down an officer after parking by a hydrant.

"It is mind-boggling that the jury would award so much money when the cops were just trying to do their job," said PBA President Patrick Lynch.

Judge Fredric Block said he was not prepared to accept the jury's verdict, and encouraged the parties to resume settlement talks.