News

Former Gettysburg officer named in 2014 excessive force suit

Written by Lillian Reed/Hanover Evening Sun | Aug 25, 2016 8:58 AM
gavel13.jpg

(Gettysburg) -- A lawsuit alleging a former Gettysburg Borough police officer used excessive force during an arrest will continue despite the fact that the plaintiff has died, Gettysburg Borough's manager confirmed Wednesday.

Gettysburg resident Sudhir Gangwal filed the lawsuit against Officer Christopher Folster in September 2014, alleging the former borough police officer used unnecessary force and broke his left shoulder during an arrest in 2011, according to court documents.

Council received several updates on the case during a closed-door executive session meeting Monday, officials said. The purpose of the discussion was to inform council that Gangwal died suddenly earlier this month and that his family intends to continue the suit, borough manager Charles Gable said Wednesday.

Folster responded to a call Nov. 6, 2011, from Gangwal reporting a parking complaint on his property, according to the suit. In the police report, which is included in the suit, Folster said Gangwal started to yell at him and poked his chest several times as he responded to the call, ignoring warnings to stop or else he would be arrested.

Gangwal claims in the suit that he was confused as to what he could have possibly done wrong, but told Folster to arrest him and submitted to the arrest willingly. He received multiple fractures while Folster was arresting him, Gangwal claimed in the suit.

Gangwal was charged with harassment, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in June 2012.

Neither Folster nor his attorney, Rolf Kroll, could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Folster resigned in May from the Gettysburg police force as part of a negotiated agreement between the borough and the police union. The resignation, according to the agreement, followed an incident in May 2015 in which he used a stun gun on a Gettysburg man he had pulled over for allegedly violating a protection from abuse order.

Folster's body camera footage shows him using a Taser to subdue Derek J. Twyman, who had refused orders to get out of his car. Twyman was later acquitted of resisting arrest.

The resignation agreement included a $10,000 payment to Folster and states that neither Gettysburg nor the union "is conceding whether or not there is just cause for Folster's termination." The borough also agreed to provide the former officer with a neutral job reference in response to any inquiry.

In the Gangwal case, his daughter has hired attorney Devon Jacob to represent the family in the lawsuit. Jacob did not immediately return a message requesting comment Wednesday.

Jacob is also being retained by Twyman, according to court records. No lawsuit concerning the Taser incident has been filed.

This article is part of a partnership between WITF and the Hanover Evening Sun.

Published in News

Tagged under , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »