Barry Berler entered an Aventura Police Department station in 2014 to ask for help locating his then-missing sister-in-law. Instead, he says, he wound up beaten, jailed, and in the hospital with serious injuries.
Berler is now suing the department in federal court. In the lawsuit, he claims he and his wife Sally went to Hallandale Beach Police to ask for help locating his wife's sister. Hallandale PD suggested contacting law enforcement officers in
But when the
That's when things got hairy. According to a police report attached to the suit, police claim Berler became "irate" and began yelling at officers in a waiting room outside, thus forcing them to arrest him. The
Aventura Police Chief Bryan Pegues did not immediately respond to New Times' request for comment on the lawsuit.
"The plaintiff, Berler, and his
Berler says he was "jumped," "manhandled," shoved to the ground, and then handcuffed. According to the aforementioned police report, he was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and breaching the peace —
Regardless, Berler wound up getting booked and transferred to Miami-Dade County's Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK). Once he arrived, the suit says, TGK officials noticed Berler was in need of medical care — it turns out Berler is diabetic and, according to the suit, in "immediate need" of medical attention due to having just been allegedly walloped by a bunch of cops. The suit says Aventura officers then took him from TGK to a hospital, where he stayed for two days.
"The medical staff admitted Plaintiff, Berler, into the hospital and documented a litany of serious conditions which were directly attributable and proximately caused by the improper conduct, false arrest, malicious prosecution, and use of excessive force and excessive restraint imposed by the Defendants," the suit reads.
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